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The saga of former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni's incarceration conjures up the memorable mantra in George Orwell's book Animal Farm: some animals are more equal than others.
Raising the spectre of political favouritism is how the fallen politician has been treated by Malmesbury Prison authorities since he began to serve his four-year sentence in August.
How the fallen politician qualified for special parole to spend a weekend at home three months into his jail term is puzzling.
Exacerbating the situation is Yengeni's apparent cavalier attitude towards his special parole conditions. He reciprocated his jailers' lenient gesture by spending a boozy weekend and nogal arrived more than an hour after his 3pm check-in deadline.
Needless to say, this is damaging to the integrity of the country's criminal justice system. Two factors that arguably contribute to the country's high crime-rate are criminals' perceptions that they can easily commit a crime and get away with it. The second factor is the liberal parole conditions that appear to make reduced sentences almost automatic.
But the Yengeni saga will most certainly fuel perceptions that the law favours the moneyed, who are afforded certain liberties because of their social status. This is unacceptable.