Parole Board makes decisions based on conduct records and other reports - Dept
The Parole Board has come under fire for granting parole to Moehydien Pangaker, a repeat offender accused of kidnapping and murdering eight-year-old Tazne van Wyk.
The long list of crimes that Pangaker has been convicted of date back to 1981. His previous convictions are detailed here.
The suspect was sentenced in 2008 at the Bellville Regional Court for kidnapping, child abuse and culpable homicide.
He reportedly absconded parole supervision twice after he was released on parole in 2015.
Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo says Pangaker was considered for parole after serving half of his 10-year sentence.
Nxumalo says the Parole Board took into account his conduct in prison and several reports submitted by social workers, psychologists and other experts.
He explains that the Parole Board is an independent body and only grants parole if it is satisfied that the risk of re-offending is low.
According to Nxumalo, Pangaker was monitored by community corrections officials following his release, before he absconded.
I can confirm what we have on our records that this particular suspect was in for kidnapping, child neglect and [culpable] homicide.Singabakho Nxumalo, Spokesperson - Department of Correctional Services
He was sentenced to 10 years. After serving the minimum required time - which is half of that sentence - he was [considered] for parole placement and consequently placed out.Singabakho Nxumalo, Spokesperson - Department of Correctional Services
After he served the minimum required time, the Parole Board went through his profile, looked at the reports of the psychologist, social workers and other specialists. The Parole Board gets presented with a number of reports.Singabakho Nxumalo, Spokesperson - Department of Correctional Services
The Parole Board is not compelled to grant parole to any person that comes before them. They've got to go through that profile and be satisfied that the risk of this person reoffending is reduced.Singabakho Nxumalo, Spokesperson - Department of Correctional Services
Justice reform expert Prof Lukas Muntingh says the Parole Board depends on the quality of information they receive about the inmates' behaviour while they are in prison.
If a case file is incomplete or superficially filled out, Muntingh says this may have an impact on the board's decision-making.
Muntingh explains that past behaviour is the best indicator when it comes to repeat offenders.
When it comes to re-offending, it's really difficult to predict the future... But what stands out is that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour.Prof Lukas Muntingh, Project Head - Africa Criminal Justice Reform
The criminal justice system as a whole is failing the public in ensuring that the people with histories with repeat violent offending are not behind bars.Prof Lukas Muntingh, Project Head - Africa Criminal Justice Reform
Listen to the department's spokesperson on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:
Listen to Prof Lukas Muntingh on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:
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