CAPE TOWN, South Africa, April 13, 2018–Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services has expressed concern at the recent spate of escapes from correctional facilities and will take this critical matter up with the minister and the department when they appear before the committee next week.
Committee Chairperson, Dr Mathole Motshekga, expressed the committee’s concern as in some instances offenders serving long sentences for serious crimes have escaped. “This puts the lives of our law abiding South Africans citizens at risk. It cannot be allowed to continue. Urgent intervention is required for the spate of escapes.
“We need the minister and the two deputy ministers to appear before the committee in public in order to give a full account as to what they have been doing to address the tide of break-outs. This has been continuing for some time and poses a great risk to the general public. It is unacceptable. The committee will also enquire about the extent to which the department have implemented policy guidelines that are clear as to what needs to be done.”
Dr Motshekga said the Department of Correctional Services will appear on Thursday to brief the committee on its annual performance plan and budget for 2018/19. “We expect all accounting officers – including the executive authority – to inform the committee of plans on the way forward to prevent escapes. We will also enquire about investigations into what led to the escapes,” said Dr Motshekga.