Pretoria - There was a sense of excitement among 30 people living with disabilities in Hammanskraal when they were handed over wheelchairs by the deputy minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Thabang Makwetla.
This took place at the Mandela community hall in the township on Tuesday.
Makwetla said the department had so far handed over more than 2000 wheelchairs to the needy in all provinces except in the Northern Cape.
He said the purpose of the occasion was also to educate communities about the work done by the department to rehabilitate offenders.
Both female and male choirs of inmates entertained those in attendance with musical items.
Through their music offenders requested to be given a second chance.
Makwetla urged the community not to forget about offenders, who were present at the ceremony.
"We want to change our country to be a humane and a caring society," Makwetla said.
To the recipients of the wheelchairs, he said they would be assisted to have comfort to move around very easily.
"We must look after those who are struggling to look after themselves," he said.
He said all government departments must all dovetail programmes aimed at fighting against poverty
Makwetla used the opportunity to denounce the widespread protests that recently erupted from different townships in the country.
He told people not to allow themselves to be led astray by some leaders, saying they should refuse to receive orders from those who wanted them to burn tyres to air their grievances.
"The whole country is erupting because people are not happy; they are burning things. There is no democracy that is going to work that way. Let us not destroy our country. Let's not be self-destructive," he said.
Makwetla also appealed to the people to remember the historical past of the country ahead of the May 8 general elections.
He said people mustn't forget the vision to take care of those who can't help themselves.
Patricia Chweu, a member of Parliament, appealed to communities to stop holding grudges against offenders.
"Mistakes are committed by people and they are also rectified by people," she said.
She encouraged the community to express love to those who committed wrongs against them.