17 October 2019 - NW1049
Hendricks, Mr MGE to ask the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services
(1) what progress has been made to give effect to the Constitutional Court ruling which ordered an amendment to section 136 (1) of the Correctional Services Act, Act 111 of 1998, to allow a parole period for inmates to start from the day of the commission of a crime instead of the date of sentencing. (2)whether the amendment will meet the deadline given that there are only 18 months left to comply with the ruling of the court?
1. A process to consider qualifying offenders for possible placement on parole in line with the Phaahla judgement was initiated in June 2019. Offenders who qualify are identified and prepared for consideration ensuring that their consideration date is advanced according to different categories of sentences.
The policy provides that all offenders are subjected to the necessary interventions and rehabilitation programmes in line with their Correctional Sentence Plan (CSP). Qualifying offenders will be considered when they become due for consideration for placement, as not all of them qualify immediately and at the same time.
2. It must be noted that the judgement does not state as indicated in paragraph (1) of the question, in fact the judgement says the parole regime applicable at the time of commissioning the offence shall be applicable to determine when an offender shall become eligible for the first time to be considered for placement on parole. The process of amending section 136 (1) of the Correctional Services Act of 111 of 1998 has been initiated and the department will do its utmost to comply with deadline.