South Africa: Convicts parole to be reviewed

The government is to review its current policy on medical parole, Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said in Parliament on Thursday.

She said new draft policy on medical parole would be made public at the end of this month. The move comes amid criticism about how convicted fraudster and President Jacob Zuma former financial advisor, Schabir Shaik, was granted medical parole under the pretext that he is on his death bed.

Mapisa-Nqakula also promised that no criminal would be released on parole before their victims had been consulted. The government decided last year that anyone, who could not afford bail of R1000 or less, should be released, to reduce prison overcrowding.

But Mapisa- Nqakula admitted that offenders from informal settlements with less than R1000 bail had not been released because the department could not verify their addresses.

Source: www.sowetan.co.za, 20100305

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