Cyril Ramaphosa’s special remission program to release Zuma leads to 16 472 criminals back on streets committing crimes

Issued by Janho Engelbrecht MP – DA Shadow Minister of Correctional Services
13 Jan 2024 in News

Mere hours after Jacob Zuma was readmitted to prison to serve out his sentence for contempt of court, he was released in terms of Cyril Ramaphosa’s special remission process, along with 16 472 other inmates. Under the guise of reducing overcrowding in prisons, the process was used purely as a political favour to free Zuma, resulting in inmates who lack integration and rehabilitation being released on the streets.

The special remission process was announced in August 2023 and ended on 2 November 2023. By 26 October 2023, 97 inmates had already re-offended. In a written response to DA questions, the Minister revealed the shocking reality of the ANC government’s abuse of public power on ordinary South Africans. Of the 97 criminals rearrested after their sham release, there were:

  • 20 criminals arrested for violent crimes, including robbery, robbery aggravating, family violence and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
  • 41 of the criminals released re-offended within 20 days of being released.
  • 1 criminal committed 3 counts of housebreaking and 7 counts of theft within 1 day of being released.
  • 69 criminals committed theft and 37 counts of house break-ins were recorded.
  • 1 re-offender was arrested for theft and being an illegal immigrant. It is unclear how an inmate was released without proper documentation or the intervention of Home Affairs.
  • A total of 139 criminal acts which led to arrest were recorded.

With these figures only being the ones that have been caught so far, there is concern as to exactly how many of the 16 472 criminals released, have reoffended without consequence – given the SAPS’ poor rate of investigations and arrests.

Further to this, the information provided by the Minister on the 97 inmates is up to 26 October 2023. South Africa has no idea what that actual figure now sits at come 2024, however, it is clear that the ANC government used a state program purely to disguise the release of Jacob Zuma from prison with no care for the consequences. Today, thousands of criminals have been released without proper rehabilitation, integration or support, which, if provided, would keep these inmates off the streets and away from crime.

The ANC has put the lives of over 60 million South Africans in jeopardy, all to protect their own, as the ANC has done for the last 30 years.

The abuse of power by the ANC must come to an end. Come 2024, South Africans will remove the ANC to ensure that irrational decisions like these do not continue. The DA calls on all citizens to make sure that they are correctly registered to vote by visiting