Criminals are having a royal time in South African prisons, there is no real justice for victims of crime in the country. And, the punishment for sexual offenders is simply not tough enough, wails the United Democratic Movement (UDM).
Asserting that South Africa’s justice system has been failing women and children. UDM called for a harsher punishment for those found guilty of abusing and murdering women and children. The party also called for stricter bail conditions before such criminals are released.
“It is said far too often, that criminals have more rights in South Africa than the victims of crime do.
“In the case of gender-based violence and sexual offences, the damage victims suffer is permanent and the offenders more or less walk away scot-free or are not punished hard enough,” UDM expressed.
The party added that it’s perceived that the reoffending rate of rapists and murderers is high.
“…One wonders if the reform and rehabilitation these offenders undergo in prison is really effective in preventing future crimes.
“…The efficacy of the National Register of Sex Offenders is questionable. Having limited public access to the register is not good enough.
“Although some would argue that citizens might become vigilantes and persecute sexual offenders if the register was freely available, there must be a balance between their right to privacy and citizens’ rights to be safe; we need to know whether we live amongst murderers and rapists,” added the party.
With the foregoing, UDM illustrated that criminals are just having “a royal time” in South African prisons. The following are three (3) incidents that support UDM’s sentiment.
1. Prisoners have been fed KFC meal with taxpayers’ money
Sometimes in February this year, South Africans were pissed off by the Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane .
What was her crime? She used over R60, 000 of taxpayers’ money to treat prisoners to a KFC meal.
The MEC has long defended her action. She said the decision to buy KFC for the convicts was wise because doing otherwise would have cost more.
“Instead of getting a caterer who was going to charge us, say, between R100 and R200 per head, we decided to get streetwise…which is less than R50 per head.”
To UDM however, the incident only proved criminals are being treated like royalties in South African Prisons.
2. Prisoners will get not fewer than 100 laptops before the year runs out
Not long past, Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa joined the move to annoy law-abiding South African citizens by loving up the convicts.
The Minister presented 30 laptops to inmates of the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria. UDM disclosed that 70 more laptops will soon be handed over to incarcerated criminals.
“What does tourism have to do with corrections? Besides, why give laptops and not stationary, locked-down computers in a laboratory setting? One wonders what the insurance payment for these laptops are, or does the Minister consider it a write-off?” UDM inquired.
Already, the Minister answered UDM’s questions when she presented the laptops. She reportedly said:
“This is a societal matter, so my presence here is a contribution that I wish to add on what the Department of Correctional Services is doing especially for youth in conflict with the law because most of the incarcerated people here are young people.
I think these young people have an opportunity to be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society so its an effort of society to make a contribution to their reintegration as they come back into society.”
3. Strippers were hired to entertain the prisoners
To UDM, the worst of these examples of a dysfunction correctional system in South Africa “is the publicly available photos of what can only be described as a salacious strip show, that inmates at the Johannesburg’s Medium B prison had the pleasure to participate in.”
UDM upheld that the incident where scantily dressed women stripped for the inmates is utterly shocking.
“Many of these men are said to be guilty of violent crimes and are murderers and rapists. Our correctional services are definitely not correcting anything in this fashion,” the party asserted.
Above all, UDM specified that imprisonment is not supposed to be a joy-ride.
“Yes, inmates should be given an opportunity to rehabilitate themselves, but such incongruent Government interventions do not make any sense.
“Instead of imprisonment being a crime deterrent, potential offenders will see these as perks of imprisonment; not only do you get a roof over your head and three meals a day, but you can eat takeaways, keep your Facebook profile updated and watch scantily clad women dance.
“This clearly shows that the ANC-led government, with its departments, continue to dismally fail citizens,” UDM proclaimed.