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Offenders graduate at ceremony held at city varsity

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A total of 131 offenders in the Free State and Northern Cape graduated at a ceremony that was held at Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley.

Picture: Supplied

A TOTAL of 131 offenders in the Free State and Northern Cape graduated at a ceremony that was held at Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley.

Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said degrees, diplomas and certificates were conferred during the offender skills development graduation ceremony on Friday.

“Family members attended the event,” said Nxumalo. The skills development programme not only equips offenders with marketable skills and knowledge but also encourages them to abandon undesirable behaviour and embrace norms and morals accepted by society.”

Nxumalo added that the graduates would be able to actively participate in the labour market upon their release.

Deputy regional commissioner Takalani Mashamba commended the offenders for improving their skills.

“I believe in the saying that there is no dustbin for a human being and therefore everyone has the potential to change. The offenders proved that it is possible to change their lives for the better through hard work and dedication,” he said.

Humphrey Masemola from the National Skills Fund, which is a funder of the skills development programme, believed the graduation ceremony proved to be the “fruits of their investment”.

“For the world to change, those behind bars must be armed with relevant skills in their journey of becoming agents of change,” he said.

Nxumalo said that perishables on display were donated to a house of safety in Kimberley as part of the department’s poverty alleviation programme after the ceremony.

Offender artefacts, production workshop and textile products, as well as agricultural produce, were on display at the graduation ceremony. Picture: Supplied
Picture: Supplied
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