ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
another policy on paper, but contrary in practice. This is the first reaction
about the 2 000 (two thousand) children in Pollsmoor Prison.
It is stated clearly in the Constitution, and is Government policy, that
children should not be kept in prisons: South Africa is contravening basic human
rights by allowing these children be held in prison. The critical circumstances
and deploring conditions under which these children are kept, is further
contributing to an already unacceptable situation.
This is a sure sign of a reckless non-management of a problem. A number of
juvenile prisons were already built and more were planned. Instead of
implementing Government policy, the Minister of Correctional Services,
prioritised to build more C-Max prisons. It must be asked why this decision was
It is clear the Department of Correctional Services does not involve themselves
in trying to find solutions. The Department can also not claim that shortage of
staff is the problem, since the Minister froze 5 000 (five thousand) funded and
agreed posts to build more jails. The Department of Correctional Services has
now moved past the point of being incompetent, to a point where it can only be
described as a complete embarrassment.
We cannot allow our children to be kept in prison, under such conditions and
together with hardened criminals. The UDM calls on the Minister to immediately
give attention to this problem, and to reprioritise available funds to address
the desperate plight of juveniles in prison.
Annelizé van Wyk, MP
UDM Deputy Spokesperson for Correctional Services
05 June 2000