SABC NEWS .com
Gillian Pillay 25 March 2012
The Ministry of Correctional Services says discussions around the Prisoner Transfer Agreement are at an advanced stage.
If ratified the agreement will ensure that South Africans incarcerated in prisons abroad, can complete the remainder of their sentences at home.
# # The Directors of Locked Up will confer with the author of this article to verify source and accuracy
There are close to 1 000 locals in jails around the world. Among them is 52 year-old Alexander Shani Krebs who was pardoned and is due to return home next month.
Bangkok, Thailand, is a popular tourist destination, but the country is also known for its stiff drug laws.
Scores of South Africans are languishing in prisons there including Krebs. His sister Joan Sachs reflected on Krebs journal which contains intimate details of his experiences in the notorious Bang Kwang Prison.
"He was sentenced to death 18-years ago for smuggling heroine out of Thailand. His sentence was reduced to 100-years and later to 40 but it's been a nightmare for his family."
We are only one of two countries in the world without a Prisoner Transfer Agreement
"We've had 18 years of hard times. It's been difficult to be a mother, a wife and at the same time fight for my brother's release," says Sachs.
Krebs is the longest serving foreigner in Bang Kwang Prison. He was pardoned last December and is due to return home next month.
In recent months there has been a series of drug mule cases. Last December South African Janice Linden was executed in China.
Soon after that a Grahamstown woman Nolubabalo Nobanda was arrested at Bangkok International Airport with cocaine hidden in her dreads.
Last week a Durban school principal was imprisoned in the United Kingdom.
Founder of the organisation Locked Up, Belinda West says: "We are only one of two countries in the world without a Prisoner Transfer Agreement, the other is Ghana. And it makes sense as it is a Human Right."
If the Prisoner Transfer Agreement is fast tracked it will be welcomed by families anxiously waiting for the return of their loved one's.