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Source — Sunday Times

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South Africa: jails are a ticking time bomb and our leaders need to act

Last week a prisoner at Johannesburg’s notorious “Sun City” jail told parliamentary officials the prison system was better under the National Party government.

It is quite an astounding statement to make, but that was probably his intention. His fellow inmates even applauded when he said it.

The apartheid system was better. The white people were doing it better. You are failing us,” said Ishmael Moshoeshoe, who has already served 17 years for murder.

Besides the general complaints he raised, he also spoke about overcrowding, saying in one case there were 68 prisoners sharing a single cell and two toilets.

Last weekend Pretoria’s prison erupted in a protest over the treatment of parolees.

A prisoner at Kgosi Mampuru II prison told The Times inmates were “gatvol” of being “treated like animals”.

Here’s the crux of it: “Yes, we have done wrong, and we have been punished, but the prison authorities and parole boards continue to punish us by not releasing us on parole when we should be.

Prison authorities should hear him out. It should be a no-brainer to release deserving detainees on parole.

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