30 August 2013
The IFP calls on the Minster of Correctional
Services, Sibusiso Ndebele, to urgently come up with long-term
solutions to combat overcrowding in South African prisons.
IFP Spokesperson on Correctional Services, Mr
Velaphi Ndlovu, MP, said, “Prison overcrowding is an entrenched
problem and its solutions require careful work and strong
political will. More money for more prison cells alone is not a
viable solution and is neither fiscally responsible nor
sustainable. There is great need for long-term solutions and
strategies that adequately address this challenge in a realistic
Prison overcrowding is sometimes caused by a
slow court system which as a result increases the number of
remand or non-sentenced prisoners substantially.
The Integrated Justice Centre must consider
new strategies regarding the mobility of judges in order to
reduce awaiting trial periods and assist in eliminating the
overcrowding in our correctional centres. Three to four years
ago there was no such overcrowding in our correctional centres
and I recall former ministers Ben Skosana and Ngconde Balfour
working around the clock, assisted by IJC to eliminate the
overcrowding. Therefore, we are proposing that mobile courts be
instituted in order to reduce overcrowding,” said Ndlovu.
Ndlovu further stated that, “We urge the three
departments to work together, namely, the police by doing proper
and thorough investigations, the judiciary in prosecuting and
correctional services in rehabilitating offenders who need to be
re-integrated into our communities,” concluded Ndlovu.
The IFP believes that there must be a
programme of organised volunteer lawyers to help inmates with
bail hearings and reduce the amount of time it takes for cases
to be tried.
IFP Spokesperson on Correctional
Services, Mr Velaphi Ndlovu MP, 083 625 0803
IFP Parliamentary Media Liaison Officer, Mr
Phendulani Biyase, 073 024 5675