Over 1000 South Africans in prisons abroad

Vanessa Goosen, who returned home in 2010 after serving 16 years in a Thai jail. (Photo: You)

Vanessa Goosen, who returned to SA in 2010 after serving 16 years in a Thai jail. “The South African government does nothing for its citizens in prison there. It’s tough,” she said. (Photo: You)

SA lacks prisoner exchange treaties

Sinty Lentin, who was arrested in India for trying to smuggle more than 25kg of drugs such as tik, kat and cocaine, is one of 1049 South African citizens imprisoned abroad, Business Day reports. South Africa and Ghana are the only two countries in the world which don’t have prisoner transfer or prisoner exchange treaties, which would allow citizens to serve their sentences in their home country. Many of the South Africans are imprisoned in South East Asia and South America and can only get consular assistance. However, one woman whose teenage sister was convicted of drug trafficking in Bolivia in March says no-one from the South African embassy in Peru has been to see her sister. Read more.

Correctional Services Minister launches Arts Behind Bars programme

The Department of Correctional Services has launched a programme aimed at rehabilitating prisoners by encouraging their creativity. EyeWitnessNews reports that the Arts Behind Bars programme was launched on Monday 27 May at Goodwood Prison in the Western Cape. Speaking at the event, Minister Sbu Ndebele said he found the paintings by the inmates – which dealt with topics such as drugs and the abuse of women and children – “eye-opening”.  Read more.

National Prosecuting Authority said to be in disarray

Business Day’s editorial responds to the dismissal of all 15 disciplinary charges against top prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, saying it is the latest sign of an organisation in crisis. The editorial highlights the NPA’s shortcomings in other recent high-profile cases like the Andries Tatane and Anene Booysen murder trial and the Fidentia fraud case, which it says suggest incompetence or lack of capacity. The piece also warns of further problems ahead, with anticipated budget cuts likely to prevent training or the appointment of more prosecutors. This will do nothing to ease the problems of excessive workloads and serious case backlogs, the paper argues. Read more. 

SAPS staff in 8 provinces to go on strike

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) says its members in all provinces, except Mpumalanga, will go on strike today, in protest over salary grades, the SABC reports. Read more.

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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