Zuma announces remission of sentences

President Jacob Zuma announces a possible reduction of sentence.

President Jacob Zuma used the Freedom Day celebrations at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday to announce the remission of sentences for some of the country's prisoners.

Zuma said prisoners who qualify will receive a blanket six to twelve month reduction of their prison sentences.

Sentenced offenders guilty of specific offences such as “aggressive, sexual, fire arm and sexual related offenses” do not qualify for the remission, said Zuma.

“People who are declared dangerous criminals,” he included.

This is the first time such a decision has been made under the current administration.

Remissions under sentence were allowed three times when Nelson Mandela was president and once under Thabo Mbeki.

(Edited by Clare Matthes)