Correctional Services slammed for not supporting voting of inmates – SABC News

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Prisoners’ rights activist and former inmate Lerato Manaka has criticised the Department of Correctional Services for not doing enough to ensure inmates have the necessary documentation to vote in the May 29 elections.

The Department of Correctional Services has stated it is ready for inmates to vote on Election Day, with approximately 14,753 inmates registered to vote.

Manaka expressed concerns about the department’s efforts to help prisoners participate in this year’s elections.

“Prisoners that are registered to vote, some of them might have registered a very long time ago before their incarceration. The concern is that only about 40% are foreigners and 60% are South Africans. Out of that 60%, only 20% have IDs in their possession in the correctional centers. The rest, unfortunately, don’t have their ID documents and therefore won’t be able to participate in the upcoming elections,” Manaka says.

“These people have a democratic right to exercise their right to vote. If you don’t give them options to choose by allowing the campaigning inside the correctional centre, how then are they going to vote? Who are they going to vote for?” Manaka added.

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