DA: Sentence remissions are a slap in the face to victims of crime

The president made the announcement on Monday and among those affected are more than 14,000 current inmates.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday said the decision by President Cyril Ramaphosa to grant sentence remissions to more than 50,000 criminals was a slap in the face for the victims of crime.

The president made the announcement on Monday and among those affected are more than 14,000 current inmates.

Those prisoners granted the remissions would have 12 months removed from their sentences, meaning some would become eligible for parole earlier than expected.

“The slap in the face that this reckless, foolhardy approach represents to literally thousands of South Africans who fall victim to crime on a daily basis, cannot be overstated.

“To suggest, as the ANC does, that South African prisons ‘shall only (be) for serious crimes against the people, and shall aim at re-education, not vengeance’ is to understate the nature of the problem to the point of the bizarre,” said Glynnis Breytenbach, the DA’s spokesperson on Justice and Correctional Services.