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LETTER TO President Zuma

25th June 2015

Dear President Zuma,

With reference to comments made by Mr Nelson Kgwete on a live radio interview on Tuesday 26th May 2015

Interview with DIRCO Nelson Kgwete

https://soundcloud.com/witsradioacademy/law-of-foreign-criminals-4?in=witsradioacademy/sets/law-of-foreign-criminals

We would like to address some of the points mentioned in the interview.

Concerning the Prisoner Transfer Agreement:  According to Mr Nelson Kgwete he insists that DIRCO evaluates the situation with SA citizens incarcerated abroad on a case-by-case basis that is patently untrue!  He further more states on the issue of PTA, that they do not have such an agreement at the moment as government has not seen or been advised of the benefit it will have for South Africa?

There are many positive benefits; one such benefit is that; the investigations can then be done!  ALL the alleged crimes originated on South African soil, this is where our people are recruited, coerced, manipulated and even threatened in some cases, and airplane tickets are purchased.  Therefore, for every citizen arrested abroad on drug related charges there is a recruiter and drug lord walking free due to the FACT that our authorities are not investigating these case in SA. The proof of this is that only ONE such case was investigated which led to the arrest and conviction of Sheryl Cwele (recruiter), the then Minister of Intelligence wife and Frank Nabolisa (drug lord) this was because of the evidence Beetge and her mother exposed of how coercion and manipulation work in the recruitment stage. In FACT, this is HUMAN TRAFFICKING and the law was broken in SA.

We are all aware that most of the SA embassies abroad have a SAPS liaison officer present. They receive all the information when a SA citizen is arrested, so what are they doing with the information? The impression is created that DIRCO and SAPS/Interpol are protecting the recruiters and drug lords involved in the South African citizens arrested abroad?

Cases of coercion, manipulation, threats against the suspect are very difficult to prove when you are arrested in a foreign country, especially if the SA authorities have refused to investigate these cases. As many families who have given information to the police will confirm, the police have not followed up on these leads.

Our prisons are overcrowded and it is costing the taxpayer of SA over a billion rand a year to accommodate and feed foreign inmates. If SA signs a PTA they would be able to complete the remainder of their sentences in their country of origin, which would then alleviate the overcrowding. Furthermore, South African taxpayer’s revenue would be better used to rehabilitate our own citizens incarcerated inside South Africa. It is of utmost importance that our citizens incarcerated abroad, be able to partake in the process of rehabilitation and this can only be achieved if the families are present.

If every foreign country in the world, with the exception of South Africa, Ghana and Nepal has signed Prisoner Transfer Agreements with some of the foreign countries where their citizens are incarcerated, we can’t understand how this cannot be beneficial for South Africa.

Concerned family and friends of SA incarcerated abroad.