11 842 incarcerated foreign nationals costing SA more than R1.6 billion a year

In response to questions by the Freedom Front Plus in parliament, justice minister Michael Masutha revealed that almost 12 000 foreign nationals are currently being held in South African prisons… at a cost of R133 805 per person.

That’s around R1.6 billion in tax revenue being spent on, among others, 918 murderers. The total breakdown of the prisoners, according to Masutha, looks a little like this:

918 imprisoned for murder, 359 awaiting trial on murder charges 454 imprisoned for rape, with another 254 awaiting trial for rape Masutha said that 448 Zimbabweans are currently imprisoned for, or awaiting trial for murder and 311 Mozambicans for the same; while 186 Zimbabweans are currently imprisoned for or awaiting trial for rape compared to 213 Mozambicans.

The total number of people incarcerated in South Africa’s prisons come to 158 111 – this includes the foreign nationals – of which 40 823 of these are still awaiting trial.

Masutha’s specific responses to the number of Mozambicans and Zimbabweans incarcerated come after FF+ MP Pieter Groenewald pressed for statistics on those two nationalities, something that didn’t sit well with the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum.

“The moment you want to give crime a nation or race is stoking xenophobic flames,” said Gabriel Shumba, chairperson of the Forum.

“There is no basis to question what nationality is imprisoned, which prison and for what crime,” he said.

Masutha also revealed that 200 foreign nationals are currently awaiting trial for what the department classifies as “crimes against the safety of the state,” but he didn’t elaborate on what those crimes were exactly.

Source: The South-African


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