Johannesburg – A documentary entitled Ithubalami: My rehabilitation path to new beginnings, which documents the offender rehabilitation programme, was launched on Wednesday evening.
The documentary, which was produced in partnership with the Department of Communications, Department of State Enterprises and stakeholders from the private sector, mainly focuses on youth in conflict with the law and further showcases the Department of Correctional Services’ offender rehabilitation programme.
Speaking at the launch, Communications Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams called on communities to give the inmates a second chance.
“As government alone, we cannot make it, we need all the help we can get,” she said.
This was after the documentary was played to the guests who attended the launch.
Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams, who was wearing an outfit designed by inmates, appealed to communities to make use of services offered by the inmates.
Ithubalami further addresses social issues such as poverty, crime and unemployment amongst offender communities released on parole.
Additionally, the documentary examines the interventions put in place to increase the chances of employment and reintegration of released offenders.
SABC Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng told the quests that he was impressed with the documentary.
He gave the documentary his full support, saying the public broadcaster will give its full support to the documentary including financial support.
“South Africa has talent, we want that to be exposed. We as the SABC, it is our duty that you succeed,” he said.
One of the cast members, Andires Maphosa, who was sentenced to 16 years for armed robbery, told the audiences that he is now a new man.
“I committed a crime, I got arrested and now found my purpose while in prison,” he said.
Maphosa encouraged those still in prison to not lose hope and to take the courses in prison seriously as they will depend on these skills upon their release.
“There is a second chance in life, don’t lose hope,” he said.
Another cast member, Tshepo Seakamela, still serving his sentence, was arrested when he was 19 and now he is 36, told the audience that he used his time in prison studying.
To date, he has completed a Diploma in Theology, Certificate in Business Management and he is currently a Communications student.
“The biggest crime that one can commit is reoffending,” he said.
Seakamela thanked the Correctional Services’ officials who have been supportive in ensuring that he succeeds.
The documentary also reflects the South African correctional system that has been transformed from prisons to corrections, where human rights and dignity are recognised and valued.
Through in-depth discussions with various role players, Ithubalami brings to the fore the thrust of offender rehabilitation and showcases correctional centres as places of new beginnings where education and skills development are the cornerstone of Corrections.