Today, the last of the inmates who qualify for special remission of sentences will be released. A substantial number of inmates who were already released have reoffended and are back in prison. This points to a lack of proper preparation for their release and a hasty, makeshift pre-release programme.
It is clear that few, if any, of the lessons that ought to have been learned from the special remission of sentences in 2005 were applied. It is essential that the Department learns the lessons from this one.
The new Minister will be briefing the Portfolio Committee on 1 August 2012 on the special remission process. I will on that occasion ask him detailed questions relating to this saga, including:
How many offenders released have reoffended and for what crime(s);
The Minister must answer for the poor handling of the special remissions process, which has impacted on the safety of ordinary South African citizens.