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348 lifers apply for parole

 Johannesburg - Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele is considering the parole applications of over 300 inmates sentenced to life imprisonment, his department said on Tuesday.

"Since December 22, Minister Ndebele has been engaged in the process of applying his mind to each of the 348 parole applications," chief deputy commissioner James Smalberger said in a  statement.

Sibusiso Ndebele. Credit: Independent Newspapers

The department said parole applications were first considered by  a case management committee.

They then went to the correctional supervision and parole board (CSPB) before the National Council on Correctional Services (NCCS) reviewed the applications for consideration by Ndebele.

The NCCS is chaired by Judge Siraj Desai and comprises 17 other officials, including judges, magistrates, attorneys, clinical psychologists, social workers, professors, officials, and medical doctors.

"Upon receipt of advice and recommendations from the NCCS, the minister exercises due consideration," the department said.

"The department of correctional services is mandated by law to manage and maintain a system of parole applicable to sentenced offenders. Parole is not a right, and is always subject to specific  conditions which an offender must comply with." - Sapa

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