Visit to State-run Secure Care Centre in Soshanguve

One of the Nigerian officials expressed interest in how the criminal justice reports to parliament and the implementation of diversion services and programmes for children in conflict with the law.
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BY EVANS MOLIMI

The Nigerian Government Delegation applauded South Africa’s effective integration of legislation within the Child Justice System. This was highlighted during a recent peer learning mission by the Nigerian Government institutions officials on an advanced justice system in South Africa.

The Department of Social Development, Department of Basic Education, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Department of Health, Legal Aid, South African Police Services, Department of Correctional Services and Centre for Child Law were among the key stakeholders who showcased the integrated government efforts in advancing the rights of the children in South Africa.

The Nigerian delegation visited a state-run Secure Care Centre in Soshanguve and engaged the department in a feasibility study on policy on children in conflict with the law and departmental experiences thereof. Reporting mechanisms, arrests of children as a last resort, and probation officer assessments were a takeaway for the delegation.

One of the Nigerian officials expressed interest in how the criminal justice reports to parliament and the implementation of diversion services and programmes for children in conflict with the law.

Explaining the implementation of diversion services and programmes and monitoring and evaluation, the Department of Social Development’s Social Work Manager, Mr Mthetho Mqonci, explained that the provincial government is responsible for the implementation of developed policies by the national government.

“To ensure the monitoring and evaluation, DSD developed a policy framework on accreditation of diversion services and programmes in South Africa.” Over and above, an electronic management system (ADS) was developed to ensure the effective and efficient process of accreditation of the diversion services.

Deputy Education Specialist from the Gauteng Department of Education Ms. Nompumelelo Mthembu explained that her department is currently offering curriculum support at the Centre. She says that unlike in any public ordinary school, parents’ representation in the School Governing Body also comprises multiple stakeholders such as the Department of Social Development. “We offer educational support within the facility. Through our support, the Centre has achieved a 100% pass rate in last year’s grade 12 results,” she said.

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