South Africa releasing over 14,000 prisoners to mark Mandela election victory

April 30, 2012

Africa, International

South Africa releasing over 14,000 prisoners to mark Mandela election victory

RTE News

The South African government is releasing more than 14,000 prisoners to mark the anniversary of Nelson Mandela winning the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.

It represents about 9% of the country’s prison population.

Another 20,000 offenders, on probation or parole, will not return to prison.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said violent criminals and those jailed for sexual, drug-related and weapons offenses will not be freed.

Prison overcrowding was being reduced from 34% over capacity to about 20%.

Since 1994, prisoners have been amnestied on several symbolic occasions.


Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s President on the 10th of May, 1994, in Pretoria.  He is seen here with the outgoing president, F.W. de Klerk.

Mr Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) party won 252 of the 400 seats in the first democratic elections of South Africa’s history.

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