Statement issued by Bongani Msomi –  UDM Secretary General

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) is concerned about the growing number of prisoners escaping in correctional facilities throughout the country, which sometimes becomes a clear indication that Correctional Service officials might have got a hand in these acts. This has also caused the public to lose hope on state organs due to victims becoming vulnerable and more susceptive to crime, after the culprits have escaped from prison.

We are calling upon Minister of Correctional Services Micheal Masutha to come to his senses and deal with this problem. He should immediately come forward and tell the nation he is failing to fulfil his duties and abdicate his position.

Prison escape is fast becoming a norm and it is very troubling, as many of these prisoners are behind bars for very serious crimes including and certainly not limited to murder and rape.

The Department of Correctional Service must ensure that stringent security measures are put in place and adhered to by all the stakeholders involved. Almost everyday prisoners are escaping from prisons around South Africa and some do not get to be rearrested. Also, the officials placed in their guard, those within authoritative positions, get away with not following up or even conducting proper investigations.

It is unfortunate that our government together with departments do not heed communities and often, ordinary citizens and community members are so oppressed in their own living environments, that they resort to violent protests in order to be heard. Criminals mock society’s laws.

This has also raised a question on the killing of the South African Police Service officials as we feel that the escapees might be involved.

Not long ago a number of prisoners escaped from Groenpunt Maximum Correctional Facility in Vereening. This further confirmed that the Department of Correctional Service is failing to do its job in protecting the community from the perpetrators.

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