Prisoners give their testimony

COMING TOGETHER: Assistant director of Spiritual Care, Vuyelwa Legwale, facilitates the dialogue between officials and prisoners at the West Bank Prison Hall Picture:SIVENATHI GOSA

The department of correctional services (DCS) held a three-day moral regeneration round-table dialogue between officials and offenders at West Bank prison hall.

Under the theme “harnessing moral transformation through dialogue and sports”, various stakeholders from the community and DCS worked together to help introduce the culture of moral rightness to strengthen offender rehabilitation as well as to identify social issues and find solutions to fight moral decay.

Correctional services acting area commissioner Sheila Nteta said the programme was aimed at encouraging dialogue on moral values, organisational culture, code of ethics, tolerance, social cohesion as well as advocating against violence against women and children.

“It is a great pleasure to host this regional event, it’s a first of its kind.

“Our mission is to contribute to a peaceful country through incarceration, rehabilitation and social integration of offenders. Some of them are here because of different circumstances that forced them to commit crime,” said Nteta.

Convicted rapist Ndumiso Bethela, 40, who is serving a life sentence at the Mdantsane prison, shared his testimony. “When I was incarcerated, my daughter was only two years old. She is now 13 and we are strangers to each other,” he said. Bethela.

“Being in prison has given me time to think about my crime and how it has affected the people around me from my family and community.

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