Justice ministry on a mission to put a stop to criminals repeating offences

The ministry of justice and correctional services says its concerned over high levels of recidivism.

Questions have been raised in the wake of the murder of eight-year-old Tazne Van Wyk and how her alleged killer, Moehydien Pangaker, qualified for parole despite multiple convictions which date as far back as 1981.

Spokesperson Crispin Phiri says Minister Ronald Lamola has instructed the department to commission research, especially in the Western Cape, to determine the cause of recidivism.

There are concerns, across the country, particularity in the Western Cape, that it does seem as the level of recidivism is quite high.

Crispin Phiri, Spokesperson - Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services

The minister has actually then said to the department, commission research specifically on the Western Cape, what causes these high levels of recidivism? Is it directly linked to overcrowding in facilities? Does this mean that our rehabilitation systems are not adequate enough?

Crispin Phiri, Spokesperson - Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services

Phiri says they are looking at whether or not there is a "scientific tool" that the parole board can use to confirm that an individual has been properly rehabilitated and admits there are some blind spots in the current process.

That is something we need to reintroduce into the system.

Crispin Phiri, Spokesperson - Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services

How it works now is they look at the individual's behaviour, they do to some extent consider the type of crime this individual has committed, and so that is why you would have such a blind spot.

Crispin Phiri, Spokesperson - Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services

What we're going to be doing is we are going to be canvassing our correctional services parole review policy, which was commissioned by the previous minister and unfortunately could not be implemented due to the electoral cycle. But at least what we can say is that there has been some good movement in this regard.

Crispin Phiri, Spokesperson - Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services

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