PRETORIA - Prison inmates were grateful for the early release granted by President Jacob Zuma on Friday and hope they can make a fresh start on the outside.
Zuma used the Freedom Day celebrations at the Union Buildings to announce the slashing of sentences by between six and eighteen months for prisoners who qualify for remission.
In two weeks time Correctional Services will start releasing thousands of prisoners.
Inmates at Pretoria Central Prison said the news came as a huge relief.
“I was so ecstatic and my prayers were answered. I’m going home, thanks Zuma!”
Like the inmates, the African National Congress (ANC) also welcomed the president’s decision to grant the remission.
The ruling party said the release will reduce overcrowding, but its urging recipients to use the opportunity to become contributing members of society.
(Edited by Clare Matthes)