UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

BAIL CONDITIONS OUT OF TOUCH WITH 
REALITIES IN SA

STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM ACTING SPOKESPERSON CORRECTIONAL SERVICES

The UDM calls on the Minister of Correctional Services to urgently attend to the unacceptable fact that seventeen thousand five hundred prison inmates have received bail but cannot afford it. In many cases it is the poorest of the poor who suffer. These statistics reflect the horrifying reality of overcrowded SA prisons that have become cesspools of injustice, degradation and crime. The result is that prisons do not contribute to the fight against crime, but rather add to the crime problem by encouraging criminality and bottlenecking the whole criminal justice system.

These inmates, who cannot afford bail, cost the taxpayer more than R1.2 million a day. Alternative measures must be put in place once a thorough analysis of the bail system has been undertaken. The bail system must provide for assessing the seriousness of the crime and where relevant, propose alternative measures. Such alternative measures may include community service in  the case of a minor offence where the accused cannot afford bail. In addition the Correctional Services and Justice Departments need to redesign their systems to ensure that people accused of petty crimes are dealt with quickly to reduce awaiting trial periods.

Enquiries:
Ms. Annelizé Van Wyk, MP
UDM Acting Spokesperson on Correctional Services
082 557 4184

Cape Town
20 August 2001.