Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.
Politicians are public servants elected by the people to serve the people to the best of their ability.
They have to perform their public duties in a transparent manner to maintain the trust of the electorate, especially when dealing with issues that are of public interest.
We are therefore surprised by Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Balfour's lack of candour over the incarceration and subsequent parole of former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni.
Balfour's response that Yengeni's parole conditions are a confidential matter between the department and an offender, smacks of arrogance. Surely the minister must be confusing these conditions with those of doctor-patient confidentiality.
Yengeni appeared publicly in a court of law where he was convicted and jailed for fraud. He has partly paid his debt to society, even though he did not complete his sentence and was released on parole. The public, therefore, has a right to know his parole conditions.
By refusing to disclose the parole conditions, the minister is denying the public the right to know if Yengeni is receiving preferential treatment.
He is also ironically playing into the hands of those who accused his department of giving Yengeni five-star treatment while in prison.
We urge the minister to stop beating about the bush and provide answers.