Former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni was among thousands of prisoners who had their sentences reduced, Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Balfour said.
Yengeni was released earlier this year after serving five months of a four-year sentence for defrauding parliament, a move criticised by opposition parties who argued it amounted to preferential treatment.
His freedom is now in question because he was recently arrested on a drunken driving charge. He will appear in court on March 19 next year.
In a written reply to a question, Balfour revealed that on May 30 2005 President Thabo Mbeki had granted special remission to thousands of prisoners, including certain categories of sentenced offenders, probationers, parolees and day-parolees.
Balfour said a total of 31865 sentenced offenders had benefited from this special remission.