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Fomer Hard Livings gang leader Rashied Staggie will be returning to his home in Manenberg as a missionary worker, according to the Manenberg Community Policing Forum (CPF).
Staggie was due to be released on day parole early on Monday.
CPF chairman Kader Jacobs said one of the conditions Staggie had asked for was to be able to move around the area for his “missionary work”.
“In the community his release does not mean much because of his strict parole conditions,” Jacobs said.
“Bear in mind that Manenberg people rejected his release.”
Parole conditions that Staggie must adhere to include that he return to Pollsmoor Prison daily at 6pm
and be monitored by an electronic tracking device while he is out.
Staggie has served nearly 11 years of a 15-year sentence for kidnapping and rape.
He was convicted in 2003 and went to jail in 2004, the year in which he was also convicted of robbing the Faure police armoury and sentenced to 13 years in jail, with the court ordering that the sentences for the two cases run concurrently.
His lawyer, Janos Mihalik, confirmed that Staggie would be doing religious work while on parole.
“He was active even before going into prison, so I’m sure he’ll go back to it again.”
Staggie’s family were excited about the parole, the lawyer added.
“It’s 70 percent excitement and 30 percent regret, because he should not have been there in the first place,” said Mihalik.
Prisoners’ rights activist Golden Miles Bhudu said transitioning from prison life could be difficult, and he wanted Staggie to join his organisation, the South African Prisoners’ Organisation for Human Rights.
“If he wants to, he can get in contact with us and assist us in getting a Cape Town office. It would also assist him to stay out of trouble.”
If talk in the community that Staggie’s life would be in danger once he was freed was true, the former gang leader should talk to the police and not take the law into his hands.
“He must walk on the straight and narrow. No one has mercy for people coming out of jail, but he must be innovative in showing the community that he has done his time and show remorse.”
Going back to old criminal habits after being released from prison was all too easy. Bhudu advised Staggie to stay out of trouble and work on getting his criminal record expunged.
“To get your record expunged you have to stay clean for 10 years.”