Prisoners' return to crime a worry: Ramathlodi

2012-07-06 16:01

Pretoria - It is worrying that some prisoners released under a special remission of sentence return to crime, Correctional Services Deputy Minister Ngoako Ramathlodi said on Friday.

"Although the rate of re-offending among the offenders released can be considered low, the department condemns every single act of criminality in the strongest possible way," he said at the release the final batch of offenders at the Pretoria Central Prison.

"One re-offender is one too many."

The release of prisoners started three days after President Jacob Zuma announced a special remission of sentences at a Freedom Day rally on April 27.

A total of 43 789 offenders qualified for early release from the country’s 241 prisons.

Ramatlhodi said that by 29 June, 90 of them had been re-admitted, and of these, 20 had been sentenced. The longest term imposed was three years.

Of the remaining 70, two paid bail, one committed suicide, and 49 were being held awaiting trial. Another 18 had not returned to prison from the courts.


He rejected suggestions that the release was inspired by prison overcrowding.

"Overcrowding was not a motivating factor in the decision by the president to grant the remission," he said.

"The department, however, welcomes the reduced overcrowding rate brought about by this special remission."

In announcing the special remission of sentences, Zuma said it was in keeping with the spirit of the celebration of the country's 18 years of freedom and in line with international practice.

He said there would be a six months blanket special remission of sentence for all sentenced offenders, probationers, and parolees.

An additional 12 months special remission would be made for all sentenced inmates, probationers, and parolees, excluding those sentenced for aggressive, sexual, firearms, and drug-related offences, and people declared dangerous criminals.

There was a remission of sentences when former president Nelson Mandela was inaugurated on 10 May 1994; on the first Freedom Day on 27 April 1995; on Mandela's 80th birthday on 18 July 1998; and to mark the first year of former president Thabo Mbeki's second term in office on 30 May 2005.

In May, when prisoners were released in the Free State and Northern Cape, correctional services deputy regional commissioner Grace Molatedi told the Volksblad that only 0.25% of the offenders released in 2005 had transgressed again.

  • mongwadi - 2012-07-06 16:08

    What did you expect "smart ass"?

      rynhardt.ferreira - 2012-07-06 16:19

      OMW, these clowns are just too funny!! Did they promise you they would not steal again??!! LOL

      gieljam.gomtor - 2012-07-06 17:08

      A worry to him ? What about the poor citizens who have no protection? Any case just shows you to be in prison doing nothing is better than being free having to do something,.

      fred.murgatroyd - 2012-07-06 17:28

      When you see this sort of thing happening all the time it makes you wonder if Zapiro's cartoon (which I didn't particularly like) doesn't actually make a good point.

      fussed.anderson - 2012-07-06 17:34

      This was only to save shaik and his crime buddies

  • procold2 - 2012-07-06 16:08

    i to am worried about this, why the hell did they let them out.

      lynn.syme.1 - 2012-07-06 16:13

      Because they need votes in the upcoming elections

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-08-19 12:42

      Read my comment further down, procold2.....

  • zterblanche - 2012-07-06 16:10

    Here's a thought: don't let them out? numskulls.

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-07-06 16:13

    Its a worry that there are idiots letting them out in the first place!

  • lynn.syme.1 - 2012-07-06 16:13

    Told you so!

  • JoeFarmer - 2012-07-06 16:16

    let one of the released convicts paint zuma in a satirical light and the worry will esculate to outrage!! the fruitless search for an anc comrade who isn't a complete spear continues

  • had.enuf.1 - 2012-07-06 16:21

    Freaking chops - what did they think was going to happen ?

  • louis.langenhoven - 2012-07-06 16:25

    at least this nincompoop thinks its a worry, the other seems to think its really no big deal

  • willem.dehaan.94 - 2012-07-06 16:33

    Yes, really worrying. Especially for us, the ordinary law abiding citizens. If you must release them, why not follow the Arabian example and send them into the desert? Much safer for us and solves the over crowding problem marvellously.

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-08-19 12:48

      I'd love to see more prisons for the really bad offenders - the abandoned mine shafts for example. Wouldn't you, Willem? They could come up for supervised and heavily guarded daylight each day. Food delivered via an adapted lift once daily and chemical toilets provided. Some buddy would probably get the contract to adapt them, for sure

  • BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-07-06 16:34

    Bloody infuriating. What the hell did you expect? They're not in jail because they spilt their milk at the church picnic idiot. They're convicted criminals that a judge/magistrate saw fit to have incarcerated. What other possible outcome could there have been?

  • avanwyk2 - 2012-07-06 16:37

    My 6 year old son said exactly the same thing the other day.

  • Sakhiwo - 2012-07-06 16:47

    For the 1st time Mr...........i've ever heard you responding to the media

  • Rowan Cranston - 2012-07-06 16:57

    Are you surprised??? You imbecile!

  • John - 2012-07-06 17:10

    no sh@t sherlock

  • elkita.robbertse - 2012-07-06 17:32

    We could have told you that.They are ANC and just a crime bunch.You lot are past stupid.No pills to heal the ANC and too late to grow braincells

  • thabo.modiba.7 - 2012-07-06 18:02

    They must judged under sharia law, its last option.

      keith.f.murphy - 2012-07-07 15:37

      I think its time to implement Sharia law or whats it called again Sharif or Shafiq law.

  • 19SideWaysView - 2012-07-06 18:14

    These intellectual giants that run our country deserve to be pilloried by Zapiro. Clowns is far too kind a description

  • altyd.onderweg - 2012-07-06 18:48

    Where else would they turn than to crime - they have no other options.

  • warren.carne.9 - 2012-07-06 19:59

    Government is certainly giving back to the community,43 789 criminals coming right back folks #not ayoba

  • Ian - 2012-07-07 13:14

    you should of thought about that before your big boss opened his fat dumb trap

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-07-07 14:31

    Of course they will return to crime again. They are seasoned criminals. Even I could have told you that. You only need more than one brain cell to know that!

  • enlightened.bowman - 2012-07-07 15:29

    so, we celebrate 18 years of freedom by condoning crime? Government has gone ape sh-t

  • keith.f.murphy - 2012-07-07 15:35

    Hey guys these folks are suffering outside the prison , unemployment, no money etc.Inside food, clothes, drugs ,weed ,Tik , medical benifits, 4 star meals telehones better life.So what do you expect Sir ???

  • John - 2012-07-09 00:42

    Make these guys do reparation to the people that they hurt or damaged. Stuff the prison system. Letting them out. NUTS. When did a leopard change its spots?

  • John - 2012-07-09 00:54

    14% VAT will be paid to the SARS for each crime committed by the releasees. You will face higher insurance premiums. Your bank can charge you for additional SERVICES they have to provide. VIVA CRIME. VIVA CRIME. W e need more CRIME.

  • zenithdolphin - 2012-07-09 10:17

    Anyone who knows the facts about REAL rehabilitation or the effect prison has on criminals will know that the vast majority WILL revert to crime! Prison is a university for crime, and coupled with the near improbable employment opportunities that released prisoners will have, of course they will do what they know best. Granted, a few hard-working and diligent ex-prisoners may well reform, yet I believe that the bulk of them will just do whatever they have to to put bread on their plate..In an overcrowded prison it is well nigh impossible to do effective one on one rehabilitation, it's not just about teaching skills, it's about changing mindsets and deep psychology often rooted in poverty and inequality.

  • patsy.smith.125 - 2012-08-19 12:41

    Our pres obviously doesn't care about rapists and murderers free to roam the streets. He doesn't care about anything but himself, how much more he can screw out of the country, how many more votes he can coerce out of the poor sheep, who believe his lies, and his new fortress called Zumaville, for heavens sake!!! How crass can one man get?

      Sthabiso Skhandisa Nyembe - 2013-09-08 19:09

      Tjo its for d 1st tym i kno our deputy minister, only knew our Minister because always heard about him on tv news, newspapers etc

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