Top results for EC prisoners with 82.4% matric pass

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The Eastern Cape’s 2018 prisoner matric class achieved an 82.4% pass rate.
The 14-strong prisoner group, in jail for a range of crimes, some with long sentences, beat the pass rate achieved by prisoners in four other provinces, said acting Eastern Cape correctional services commissioner Noziphiwo Dumbela.
She said justice minister Michael Masutha announced the national matric results for SA prisoners at Durban’s Westville prison on Tuesday.
Dumbela said Cradock prison’s seven matriculants achieved a 100%pass rate, followed by Sada prison with 83% while St Albans inmates managed a 50% pass rate.
She said the province’s prison matric results had improved by 12% from 2017.
Of the group, five achieved bachelor passes, seven diploma passes and two higher certificates.
Top of the class was Nicholas Siphumelele Mbombo, 22, who is serving 15 years for rape.
Vuyo Gadu, provincial correctional services spokesman, said Mbombo said he was intoxicated at the time of committing the offence. He was jailed in 2015, during his matric year.
Gadu said Mbombo wanted to enroll for a bachelor of education degree and become a teacher.
Mbombo, speaking through Gadu, stated: “My wish is to serve the community and my country by providing motivation to the youth and continue encouraging them to do the right thing.
“Hence I chose to follow a career in teaching so they can learn from my mistakes.”
Dumbela said the class of 2018 succeeded against the odds. “Despite having human resources challenges at our centres, the offenders have done well.”
Dumbela said 23 had registered to study matric this year.
She said the seven prisoners at Cradock prison were the third class to achieve 100% for the past three years.
These three prisons are the ones in the province which run matric classes – St Albans for adult prisoners, Cradock for juvenile offenders, and Sada for agricultural studies.
While the correctional services department has been criticised for offering free education to law breakers, Dumbela said education formed part of the department’s rehabilitation programme. “We are not necessarily saying break the law and we will reward you with a good education, but our mandate is to rehabilitate and turn around offenders to become better human beings.”..

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