The Restorative Justice course was allowed to continue at Voorberg even though the gang-related stabbing of an officer caused the rest of the prison to be shutdown.
The first day brought early insights to one man who told of abuse towards him and his family by the farmer they worked for and on whose land they lived. This produced a great hatred of all white people, expressed in his crimes against them. He was also plotting how to destroy the farmer and his family once he was released from prison.
Just a few hours into the RJ process he realised that what he was doing was wrong. Instead of planning murder, now he’s planning to write a letter to the farmer, explaining the effects of his actions and taking a step towards changing his future.
We frequently hear “I’d never known that before.” Several confessed they’d been planning revenge once released but now know it’s not the way to go. It’s about presenting the facts and encouraging the men to look at themselves and their actions honestly.
39 inmates take part in a room with no covid-distancing and acoustics that make it difficult to hear what the men say. The family restoration day on Saturday was a big occasion but facing tough questions from loved ones and telling the truth makes a huge impact. The families who came heard the truth from their men, which is sometimes hard to bear but marks the start of a restored relationship.
Pray for Fraser’s trip to Namibia in July, that he will be able to fit everything into the time he is there.
We presented our applications for our visa extensions for the next three years in Cape Town last week.
James flies out to visit us next week, arriving on Tuesday. He and Fraser haven’t met in the flesh since August 2018.