'Release the terminally ill'

30 July 2008 - 02:00
By unknown

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

The Department of Correctional Services was yesterday told to stop dragging its feet on releasing terminally ill prisoners, including those living with HIV-Aids.

Head Commissioner Vernon Petersen, had to face tough questions in Cape Town from MPs about delays in releasing prisoners on medical parole.

Only 53 terminally ill prisoners were released last year - but the year before 1300 prisoners died of illnesses while in jail.

Petersen admitted that, though there was a risk of prisoners recommitting crimes, the delay in granting parole had been on the agenda for "far too long".