Reformed inmates shunned despite qualifications

2016-12-13 10:18
Ex-convicts said they were victims of “circumstance” and poverty led them down the criminal path.

Ex-convicts said they were victims of “circumstance” and poverty led them down the criminal path. (File)

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Ex-criminals have told Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo about the “unjust treatment” they face when looking for employment.

In a meeting at City Hall on Monday, ex-convicts said they had served their time for their crimes but found it difficult to find their feet once out of prison. About 50 convicted criminals spoke to Njilo about their plight.

“I’m not saying what I did was right but I have served my sentence. All I want now is a chance to work so I can provide for my child,” said a woman who asked not to be named.

The woman, was one of many, who said they were “judged” based on their past mistakes.

They said they were victims of “circumstance” and poverty led them down the criminal path.

“We received a number of qualifications from attending workshops and courses while in prison, but we are unable to use our qualifications,” said one of the rehabilitated criminals.

One said that as soon as they disclose their criminal record, they are shunned by potential employers.

“Not finding work makes it difficult to live a crime-free life, as it was poverty that made me turn to crime,” said another who asked not be named.

Njilo said a database with all the ex-convicts’ information will be created and distributed to possible employers in the city. “A letter will also be sent to the KZN Premier Willies Mchunu to request his help in the matter,” Njilo said

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg
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