Claims of favouritism persist

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

The controversy around former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni's parole conditions rages on.

At the heart of the controversy are claims by the DA that it suspects Yengeni is contravening his parole conditions.

The party has since asked for Yengeni's parole file from Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Balfour.

Yesterday Balfour said he would not cave in to pressure and make Yengeni's file public.

He accused the DA of using Yengeni's parole as a "political football".

Balfour said the department was committed to "openness, transparency and accountability in all its dealings, but not at the expense of productive working relations based on respect for the fundamental human rights of all people."

Balfour said it was the duty of a correctional services parole officer to brief an affected community and the family of an offender.

He said it was also the responsibility of the correctional services officer to report on offenders breaking their parole conditions.

Balfour said such information would be passed on to the chairmen of correctional supervision and parole boards.

The boards would in turn brief the families and affected communities about conditions and mobilise them to collaborate in ensuring the compliance of offenders and in reporting noncompliance for disciplinary actions to be taken.

Yengeni was convicted and sentenced to four years for defrauding parliament.

This was after he received a huge discount on a luxury 4x4 vehicle from the German manufacturing company which won a slice of government's multibillionrand arms deal.

Yengeni only served an effective five months and was released on parole.

He was sentenced to community service doing clerical work and driving at the Siyazama School for Mentally Challenged Children in Gugulethu.

Opposition parties said his release was favouritism.