The department welcomed a delegation from the United Nations Security Council Mission on Terrorism, who visited Kgoši Mampuru II Management area on 09 May 2018. The visit forms part of their work as a council that includes assessing the counter-terrorism frameworks in place in all member states of the United Nations, and also to learn best practices in offender treatment, rehabilitation and social reintegration. Officials from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) accompanied the three delegates.
In her welcoming statement, Gauteng Regional Commissioner Grace Molatedi highlighted that the visit was an extension of a relationship that already existed between the United Nations (UN) and DCS. “As a department, we are proud to say that we already have a relationship with the UN through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime”.
Senior Managers from Incarceration and Corrections as well as Community Corrections shared the work of DCS with the visitors before taking them through a tour around the facility. Deputy Commissioner Personal Development, Dr Minette Plaatjies made a presentation on rehabilitation programmes followed by Deputy Commissioner Personal Corrections, Thandiwe Motlonye, who gave an overview on the categories of offenders and interventions offered to them. Acting CDC: Community Corrections, Veliswa Mvandaba shared programmes on parole and probation.
South Africa does not have a large population of offenders linked to counter- terrorism. According to Chief Security Officer Lucky Mthethwa there are only 13 offenders classified as terrorists in DCS facilities. He said they are serving sentences ranging from five to thirty-five years.
Ms Delphine Schantz, Senior Legal Officer for the United Nations Security Council Mission on Terrorism, said they were interested in learning about good practices in correctional facilities particularly because treatment of offenders and rehabilitation is a big part of counter-terrorism work. “We have started a lot of programmes that encourage interaction amongst countries, and we collect information about good practices in all member states of the United Nations on how they deal with counter-terrorism,” she said.
Although DCS does not have correctional programmes specifically targeted to deal with terrorist behaviour, many questions by the delegates were centred on mechanisms used to measure the success of rehabilitation programmes and social reintegration. Ms. Mvandaba explained that the department measures the success of rehabilitation by the level of compliance by parolees and probationers, which currently stands at 98 percent.
Acting Area Commissioner Alfred Matemane appreciated the visit, and said he was happy to open their doors for the outside world to see the work that DCS is doing at Kgoši Mampuru II. “We are trying our best as correctional services to correct offender behaviour. We have resources, but rehabilitation is also a personal choice,” he said. The UN delegation will also be visiting other departments in South Africa such as Home affairs.