Byline: Nonjabuliso Nhlambo

21 June 2022

Ex-offenders champions’ of change Organization visited Ethokomala Special School in Kinross on the Thursday, 21 July 2022.

The organization offer crime prevention programs and other socio economic factors.

The purpose of the visit was to engage with the young offenders on anti-gangsterism in prison program which aims to council, motivate young offenders into rehabilitation.

Part of the discussion topics were,

  • Purpose of gangsterism in prison;
  • Consequences of crime and gangsterism; and
  • Purpose of Rehabilitation and reform centers.

According to Mr Nhlahla Magagula, secretary of the organization, the root cause of gangsterism are prisons as most gangsters are initiated in prison thereafter spreading to communities.

Sibusiso Sithole who is the chairperson of the organization and an ex-offender addressed the group on the dangers and challenges of being associated with gangsters and a day to day routine inside prison.

”No one is born to be a criminal, such things are adopted as a person is growing up.

I am pleading with you to use this opportunity to change and reform yourselves into better people.

Jail is very hard,”Mr Sithole said detailing his experience while in prison.

Mr Sicelo Maseko and Mr Sipho Welani also shared their experiences of being in prison and the process of rehabilitation and rejection before being accepted back into their communities.

The organization plans on having one on one sessions with the young offenders, which they believe will lead to uncovering the source of the problem thereby leading them through with the rehabilitation process which will help them change for the better.

Representatives of the school also highlighted issues they face with the juvenile offenders in the classroom as they have limited skills programme for those who had dropped out of school before conviction.

“It would be nice to have a skills development programme introduced in the school as it would equip these young people with the skills which they can use to provide and fend themselves after they have been released from our care,” said on of the teachers pleading with Ex’s Offenders Champions of Change Organization to assist the schools with the introduction of skills development programmes which would assist learners who are not academics but good with their hands.

From left to right are: Mr Shipho Welani, Mr Sibusiso Sithole, Ms Baile Mphahlele, Ms Lindiwe Mazibuko, Mr Sipho Manana, Ms Martha Letsoisa, Ms Poppie Kunene and Mr Scelo Maseko