State to release some prisoners

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

The government is set to release thousands of awaiting- trial prisoners who have been granted bail for petty crimes but remain incarcerated because they cannot afford to pay it.

Deputy Justice Minister Johnny de Lange yesterday said of the 93869 people awaiting trial 11000 should not be there.

"When a court has already decided that a person should be outside we cannot hold them in prison," De Lange said.

A government audit of all awaiting-trial prisoners will soon be completed and more could be freed.