House Chair, while the Department received another unqualified audit opinion from the AG, the AG has again put emphasis on matters relating to uncertainty on the outcomes of all the litigation that the Department is involved in.
The Department is a defendant in many lawsuits and the outcome of these cannot be determined and no provision for any liability that may result in the additions to the financial statements has been inserted, and this the ACDP does find concerning.
If we look across all state departments, the issue of state litigation and those contingencies is an aspect that the AG continues to raise.
Overcrowding remains a problem at correctional centres and the ACDP has continually raised this issue. We believe that not enough is being done to expedite criminal trials and that has an impact on the remand detainees that are costing the state hundreds of Rands per day. When we travelled to the Free State, we found a remand detainee owed bail of R100, but it cost the state R300 a day to keep in remand detainment. So, that is an issue we raised and the Judiciary addressed that.
We also believe and support restorative justice programmes where the inmate is not a danger to society. We believe that this contributes to their rehabilitation and will reduce the amount of recidivism.
There are a number of concerns that have been expressed in the Committee’s Report and I think that these are issues which are ongoing and clearly need attention.
We also see the challenges that JICS (Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services) is facing and whilst they attempt to do their inspections of the correctional services to the best of their ability, they are also constrained.
In view of these issues and ongoing issues which over many years have not been addressed, the ACDP will, sadly, not support this report.
I thank you.