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MPs raise concerns over parolees who commit serious crimes

The Department of Correctional Service briefed the Justice and Correctional Services Committee on Friday on the parole system and its challenges.

Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament have raised a number of concerns about prisoners released on parole who go on to commit more serious crimes.

The Department of Correctional Service briefed the Justice and Correctional Services Committee on Friday on the parole system and its challenges.

Friday’s meeting followed a number of cases involving parolees being charged with serious crimes like murder and rape.

One case was of eight-year-old Reagan Gertse who was raped and killed allegedly by a man who had been on out parole for four months.

He had served a 12-year sentence for the rape of a five-year-old boy.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has undertaken to improve correctional services' offender tracking systems.

But Democratic Alliance MP Glynnis Breytenbach questioned the electronic tagging.

“We spent a lot of money on the electronic tagging devices. I am told that it was extremely successful, but I would like to know why that hasn’t followed up.”

Correctional Services commissioner Arthur Fraser confirmed that the tagging was a problem.

"Just to reflect on the electrical monitoring, I was briefed that the system wasn’t as successful but apart from that, the actual contract is under investigation by the SIU and there is a court case currently."

Unsatisfied members of the committee instructed the department to return at a later stage to give more information.