ANC vows to tighten legislation on parole

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The ANC has vowed to tighten the legislation on parole. This is part of its policy proposals as it goes to its national elective congress this weekend. The five day meeting will adopt this and other policy proposals discussed at the party’s Policy Conference in June.

Currently the Correctional Services Act stipulates that prisoners who have served half of their sentence are eligible for parole. But this has been strongly criticized as some of these offenders revert back to their old ways.

The Parole system in South Africa allows inmates to leave prison and serve the remainder of their sentence within their community. Hardened criminals serving a life-sentence are considered for parole after 25 years. And all these prisoners are normally supervised by the Department of Correctional Services. But in some cases these prisoners relapse into their life of crime.

ANC NEC member of the Sub-committee on Peace and Stability David Mahlobo says this has been a concern. “ The only issues we need to deal with are the real concerns of our people. One of our concern is that someone gets to be given a life sentence they don’t serve the full life. We have another law that begin to say at a particular point these people are legible for parole this is where say we are going to tighten it and some of these when they get parole they go back to their old ways not being rehabilitated this is where we actually say we are going to deal with the issue. When the Women’s league also raised these issues it was because of the scourge on the violence against women including the heinous and barbaric killings that have happened,” expressed Mahlobo.

Mahlobo also stressed the need to further improve policing services in communities. He says government has introduced specialized units as an early warning system to counter violent protests, corruption and other crimes.

The governing party also weighed in on the issue of private security. Currently the private security companies in the country have more officers than SAPS standing at almost a million members.  Mahlobo says in as much as the private security sector contributes to job creation, it must adhere the rules.

” We have agreed that it’s the biggest contributor to the economy but the concerns are genuine. One of the concerns we have is that you can’t have the biggest force because they have over 900 000 as we stand right now. The problem we have is that the ownership belongs to other people and if this ownership belongs to other what is your sovereignty as a country number two is that they are deployed in strategic areas you can’t have as a country have strategic capability you called a strategic key-point you send someone who is actually does not believe in the flag.”

With fears that serious divisions could plunge the ANC elective conference into chaos, Mahlobo has promised an event free gathering.