Cape Town - The Western Cape's Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz has expressed concern over President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that 19 000 prisoners will be considered for parole and has requested further details on the conditions of their release.
The release of prisoners on parole aims to address overcrowding in prisons to reduce the transmission of Covid-19. During a subsequent press conference, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola noted that the final decision to grant parole rested with the relevant parole board.
Fritz said: “I call on Minister Lamola to provide greater clarity on the steps that will be taken to ensure that the whereabouts of those granted parole are monitored by the parole officer and SAPS so that all our residents are protected.
“Additionally, I will request Minister Lamola to provide information on how many parolees will be released in the Western Cape and in which communities,” Fritz continued.
“Too often, we see released parolees left destitute in the towns of the prisons in which they were released. Often, they have no home to stay in and are left on the streets, tempted to return to a life of crime. We have seen horrific crimes being committed by those released on parole, and we cannot allow this to happen again.
“I further call on the parole boards who will consider the possibility of parole for the 19 000 prisoners to do so with the utmost integrity. I call on parole boards to be above reproach and keep in mind that their decision directly impacts on the safety of every resident in the country. It is imperative that the parole board consult with the affected community, psychologists and social workers prior to granting parole,” said Fritz.