Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola speaking at the Goodwood Correctional Facility hall. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola speaking at the Goodwood Correctional Facility hall. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Lamola defends parole system: 'It's flawed but not broken'

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Mar 4, 2020

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Cape Town – Efforts were under way to improve South Africa's parole system amid outrage over child murders in the Western Cape allegedly committed by parolees, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola told the National Assembly on Wednesday.

This after Lamola had called an urgent two-day meeting to address flaws in the system following the arrest of parolees for the murder of three children in the Western Cape this year.

Earlier at the Goodwood Correctional Centre, he said they had established flaws in the management of data before an inmate is released on parole. 

Lamola said though in most cases parolees integrated peacefully into society, there had been cases where they not only reoffended, but the crimes they committed while on parole were more though serious than those for which they had been jailed.

"There are rotten potatoes who commit heinous crimes," he said in reply to questions from MPs. 

He insisted the parole system was "flawed but not broken", but said the necessary improvements included better integration of systems so that previous records could instantly be accessed when a suspect was being processed.

"The interlinking of the systems is a priority for the cluster and it is being addressed," he said.

The suspects arrested by police in connection with the killing of 12-year-old Michaela Williams and 8-year-old Tazne van Wyk in Cape Town, and the murder of 7-year-old Reagan Gertse in Tulbagh were all on parole.

The Justice Department said the upcoming meeting would review parole practices in the Western Cape in the past year and ascertain whether there had been any breach in compliance with the processes prescribed in the Correctional Services Act. 

African News Agency

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