Cape Town – Police Minister Bheki Cele reportedly revealed last week that more than half a million South Africans were in the country’s 243 prisons, and that this was a clear indication that immigrants were not worse than South Africans regarding crime.
Cele said this during the Council of Mayors’ conference in East London on Thursday.
According to New24, the minister said that South Africans were major contributors to the crime in the country.
He said out of the 544 000 prisoners in the country’s 243 prisons only 18 000 were immigrants, the report said.
“Foreign nationals are not a problem. It’s South Africans. They are in prison in large numbers, which means they do things they are not supposed to do,” the report quoted the minister as saying.
He also revealed that 10 000 women were raped by South African men between January and March this year.
“They were raped where they are supposed to be safe by people who are supposed to keep them safe – their fathers, brothers, husbands, boyfriends, grandfathers, and their stepfathers,” Cele was quoted as saying.
According to The South African, Cele also spoke on the environmental design and the overpopulation of South African prisons.
He said that prisons were overpopulated by 33.3% and that the country needed to go beyond policing to address social ills, the report said.
“South Africa cannot be a prison. The call to say arrest, arrest, arrest, cannot be a permanent call. Something else must be done. Other things, other ways must be found,” the report quoted Cele as saying.
He also talked about the challenges of policing in areas without adequate infrastructure adding that crime would continue to be a problem until service delivery issues were addressed and unemployment was dealt with, the report said.
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe