Drama for a purpose on Church Square


Masixole Skade (white shirt) and Sibusiso Booi, both parolees, perform a scene from Ama-Uneducated in Church Square on Tuesday 25 July, as opart of an awareness campaign organised by the Grahamstown Correctional Services. They are members of the Moral Regeneration Crime Awareness Campaign Group. Photo: Sue Maclennan

A drama enacted on Church Square last week caught the attention of passers by, giving officers from Grahamstown Correctional Services, volunteers, probationers and parolees the opportunity to speak to them about their offender rehabilitation programmes.

The lively outreach campaign in Church Square on Tuesday 27 July morning brought correctional supervision into focus, with Correctional Services social worker Vuyokazi Gwarube explaining what various programmes entailed.

“My job is to help offenders refrain from doing crime while they’re in the community, and we have various awareness and education programmes including substance abuse, anger management, life skills and restorative justice.”

The play, Ama-Uneducated, dealt with the problems that resulted from poor or no education, and was performed by parolees Masixole Skade and Sibusiso Booi. They’re members of a group of offenders who visit schools to perform the drama as part of a crime awareness programme.

Reginald Schoeman, who is the founder of the group, the Moral Regeneration Crime Awareness Campaign Group, says they’re willing to take their offering to any school or community group, as part of their community service. Schoeman is serving a five-year house arrest sentence which he will complete in 2021.

In the literature the Correctional Services staff provided, correctional supervision is described as a sentence in its own right.

“Such a sentence is served within the community and not in a correctional centre,” the pamphlet explains. “A person who is serving a sentence of correctional supervision is known as a probationer.”

Grahamstown Correctional Services social worker Vuyokazi Gwarube speaks to a member of the public about the Service’s rehabilitation programmes for offenders. Photo: Sue Maclennan

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