Christmas comes early for inmates

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pretoria - Correctional Services Deputy Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize has handed out gifts to female offenders and mothers living with babies behind bars.

While handing out gifts to the inmates at the Pretoria Correctional Centre, Mkhize encouraged them that all was not lost.

"In spite of all the factors that brought you here, you are still loved! We care for our women and children.

"This should be an important message because this occasion falls during the 16 Days of Activism Campaign for No Violence against Women and Children. It is during this time that we focus on the human rights of women and children," Mkhize said.

She said their happiness during this time of the year will ensure that the babies who are with them inside prison also get a chance to be loved, against all odds, and to feel the warmth of a mother's embrace.

"We will not deny the fact that for mothers in here with their babies, and those who also happen to be mothers to other children outside correctional facilities, the sadness is even more deep," she said.

Mkhize thanked all the stakeholders who had made generous donations.

"It is through your selfless efforts that we have these gifts that we can give to the inmates and babies in a gesture of ubuntu, botho, humanness. Your efforts show that as Correctional Services, we cannot achieve our goals in isolation; Corrections is a societal responsibility," she said.