More than 51 000 offenders are eligible for their sentences to be remitted. FeesMustFall Activist Khanya Cekeshe and Abathembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo are among the offenders who qualify for remissions.
This was confirmed by Justice Minister Ronald Lamola. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced at the National Reconciliation Day ceremony that some offenders would be granted remission.
However, the offenders exclude those who committed sexual offences and serious crimes like murder.
Justice and Correctional Services says out of the more than 51 000 (51036) offenders who are eligible for remission, more than 14 600 (14647) of them are sentenced, prisoners.
At least 2717 of the sentenced offenders are foreigners.
Over 36 000 (36 389) of the 51 000 offenders are already on parole and on probation.
Minister Lamola says all remissions will be a vigorous process that will take place for the next nine to 12-months.
The remissions granted by President Ramaphosa reflect that 6000 more prisoners will benefit from the process, – when compared to former President Jacob Zuma who granted over 45 000 (45 033) remissions on Freedom Day in 2012.
Former President Mbeki had the highest number of remissions among the three of them. He had granted over 65 000 (65 837) remissions in 2005.