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Lamola: Yes, some prisoners due for parole may re-offend

President Cyril Ramaphosa has allowed parole for selected categories of prisoners in areas considered high risk as the infection rate among inmates increase.

FILE: Justice Minister Ronald Lamola at an inter-ministerial briefing on the coronavirus in Pretoria on 13 March 2020. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has conceded the release of selected prisoners as part of government's efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 will have some challenges as some might re-offend.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has allowed parole for selected categories of prisoners in areas considered high risk as the infection rate among inmates increase.

This could affect just under 19,000 inmates.

Lamola said those who qualify to be released have gone through assessment: “We can assure that a huge number of those on parole have to comply but it is unfortunate that there will be that one person or two people who decide to continue to commit crimes. But one is indeed too many because it affects the lives of law-abiding citizens. It affects everyone.”

He said they had not strengthened their parole system: “And as we speak, in Cape Town, we are piloting a project, which is a project we are also going to use and we will ensure that police are involved and will include a profile of the offender.”