Over 3,100 parolees released in 2023, says Western Cape MEC Reagen Allen

Over 3,100 convicts were paroled last year. Picture: Ron Lach/Pexels

Over 3,100 convicts were paroled last year. Picture: Ron Lach/Pexels

Published Apr 23, 2024


The Western Cape Department of Police Oversight and Community Safety has expressed concern about the number of released parolees last year and the number of re-offenders reported.

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) reported that in 2023, a total of 3,159 offenders who had been sentenced to more than 24 months imprisonment were released on parole.

This included 760 prisoners who were released by DCS during August and November 2023, as a result of the ‘Special Remission of Sentence’, announced on August 11, 2023.

Of those released due to the special remission, 383 are reporting to the South African Police Service (SAPS) stations where Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (Leap) officers are deployed.

The police stations and number of parolees reporting to are:

- Bishop Lavis - 41

- Delft - 58

- Grassy Park - 17

- Gugulethu - 20

- Harare - 31

- Khayelitsha - 34

- Kraaifontein - 31

- Lingelethu West - six

- Manenberg - 20

- Mfuleni - 20

- Mitchells Plain - 62

- Nyanga - 23

- Philippi/Hanover Park - 36

- Philippi East - 13

- Steenberg - 10

By November 20, 2023, 113 parolees re-offended and were rearrested.

They were arrested for crimes such as: 19 for assault, 14, for theft, four for murder, three for attempted murder, three for the possession of a firearm, and seven for possession of a dangerous weapon.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said the number of repeat offenders are concerning.

“These re-offences are a major concern for the Western Cape Government. We are doing everything that we can to make the Western Cape safer, but the number of repeat offenders just makes it even harder to successfully fight crime. Considering where many of the parolees have returned to and the escalation in violence that we’ve seen recently, one can only conclude that there is a correlation between their release and what is currently happening in certain communities,” Winde said.

He said MEC for Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagan Allen has written to the SAPS and DCS on programmes and measures to ensure parolees adhere to their conditions.

“Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen has written to the SAPS and DCS on the programmes in place to monitor the parolees, and further requested that we receive an update on parolees adhering to their parole conditions, and what punitive measures are in place should there be any transgressions,” Winde said.

Allen said parolees’ actions outside of their parole conditions and above the law will not be tolerated.

“Parole is a privilege afforded by our country’s laws, but we will not have any parolee conducting themselves outside the parameters of their parole conditions, or the law. SAPS and DCS should also inform the communities where these parolees have been released, who they are, and the crimes they have committed while encouraging them to report any transgressions.

“As the Western Cape Government, we commit to ensuring that these parolees pay their full debt to society and become positive contributors to their respective communities. It is important to us that our residents live without fear,” Allen added.

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