AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
ANDILE Lungisa, an ANC leader in the Eastern Cape, has been released from jail after serving three months of a two-year jail sentence for smashing a glass jar on the head of an opposition politician.
The South African Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has explained the special set of circumstances that have led to the early release of Lungisa from prison. Lungisa is a former councillor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and ex-deputy president of the ANC Youth League. He was convicted of assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm and sentenced to an effective two years in prison.
Singabakho Nxumalo, a spokesperson for DCS said Lungisa has to comply with specific parole conditions. “The parole placement means that Lungisa will serve the remainder of the sentence in the system of community corrections, wherein he will be expected to comply with a specific set of conditions and will be subjected to supervision until the sentence expires,” he said.
Nxumalo said Lungisa benefitted from, among others,a special remission of sentences announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in September.
He explained: “Classified as a first time offender with a positive support system, and having responded positively to rehabilitation programmes, parole placement for Lungisa is in line with Section 73(7)(a) of the Correctional Services Act. The Act determines the minimum period of sentence that must be served before consideration for possible parole placement. This must be read together with Section 276(1)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act as it stipulates a mandatory one sixth of the sentence to be served before any consideration for parole.
“Lungisa was initially admitted on 09 May 2018 to serve a two (2) year sentence for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. However, he was released on bail on 25 May 2018 after having spent at least 16 days pending his appeal application. He was readmitted to continue with the sentence into the corrections system on 17 September 2020 after his appeal application was unsuccessful. The Special Remission of Sentences granted by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 16 December 2019 reduced Lungisa’s sentence by twelve (12) months. Over 14 000 inmates benefitted from the special Remission of Sentence.”
Nxumalo said South Africa is using a parole system that is progressive in nature and based on international best practice. Offenders who are placed on parole are expected to comply with conditions and failure to comply may result in the parolee, depending on the frequency and seriousness of the violations, having parole revoked and sent back to a correctional facility, he added.
“The role of society cannot be underestimated in the process of placing parolees back into communities. It is important that parolees be accepted and supported so that they can be fully reintegrated into society and be given an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution,” he said.