Byline: Kelebogile Masemola
18 June 2022
The Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, head of department Ntsiki Sisulu, together with the Department of Correctional Services, engaged with young people who are in conflict with the law at the Baviaanspoort Correctional Centre to commemorate Youth Day on 15 June 2022.
The dialogue was between pupils from DR WF Nkomo High School, Gatang Secondary School and the inmates from Baviaanspoort Correctional Centre.
The programme commenced with a dialogue on safety issues and culminated into a tour at the facility.
The Department of Community Safety said the tour was used as a platform to encourage young inmates to work closely with law enforcement authorities during their rehabilitation.
Frans Sema, Northern Corridor official of the prison, said the purpose of the session was to expose the youth to life in correctional facilities to discourage them from erratic and offending behavior.
“Furthermore, we want to give young inmates an opportunity to make amends and build resilience,” Sema said.
Sisulu, who facilitated the dialogue session said most clever young people find themselves in conflict with the law because they believe they could get away with crime through their intelligence.
Mazibuko encouraged the young offenders to advise the pupils that there was no good or soft life in prison.
“Please shed light for the pupils who are here today and make them aware that prison is not a nice place to be as a young person.
Our struggle heroes such as Albertina Sisulu went to prison so that we as women get to live a better life, she did not go to prison for women to spoil their children, she was saying educate your children and empower your children to have a better future and not be a spoilt brat,” said Mazibuko.
While sharing their stories, an inmate said he has learnt a lot being in prison.
He said he learnt that it was not shameful to ask for help.
“Stay away from drugs and make your parents proud, prison life is not nice at all, please take care of yourselves.
We got to see that prison is not child’s play, and we need to be serious about life,” he said.