The mayor of Thulamela, Cllr Avhashoni Tshifhango, with some of the prisoners and Correctional Services officers.
The mayor of the Thulamela Municipality, Cllr Avhashoni Steven Tshifhango, visited the female inmates at the Thohoyandou Correctional Services at Sibasa on Monday morning.
Tshifhango encouraged the inmates to learn from their mistakes and allow correctional services officials to help them. “We came here to visit you and to encourage you not to give up on life. You can still be something in life,” he said.
Tshifhango also encouraged inmates to plan for the future, even when they were in prison. He emphasised that inmates should use their free time to improve their learning skills that will help them when they get out of prison. “You can leave here as an engineer, a hairdresser, a businesswoman or a motivational speaker,” he said. “You are here because of mistakes made, but what is important is how you spend your time in here and what you learn while serving time,” he added.
“Most of you here are parents and your children need you. Serve your sentence and go home and raise your children,” said Cllr Tshifhango.
One of the inmates, who is serving a 15 year sentence for theft, said that she was very happy to see the mayor. “It makes me happy to see that there are people out there who still think about us, even when we are in here,” she said. “In here we are learning a lot of skills like hair plaiting and other handwork, so that when we get out we can work for ourselves and stop stealing or offending others.”
The Department of Correctional Service's area commissioner, Mr Takalani Mashamba, said that he was humbled by the mayor’s visit. “People tend to forget about people who are in our cells,” he said.
Date:09 August 2018 - By: Maanda Bele
Maanda Bele, born and raised in Nzhelele Siloam, is currently a third year journalism student at the Tshwane University of Technology.
He is passionate about current news and international affairs.
He joined the Zoutnet team as an intern in 2017.