- Abdullah Simelane is currently serving a 23-year sentence at Barberton prison
- He achieved an impressive bachelor pass in his matric
- He became the oldest prison inmate to complete matric in 2018
A 52-year-old man in Mpumalanga became the oldest prison inmate in the country to complete matric in 2018.
Abdullah Simelane is currently serving a 23-year sentence at Barberton prison for indecent assault, TimesLIVE reports. He was sentenced in 2015.
He also performed impressively well, notching up a bachelor pass. He was among 235 inmates countrywide who wrote their matric exams last year.
Simelane was a teenager when he dropped out of school, Briefly.co.za learned. His family lacked resources for him to complete his schooling. He said:
If I had an opportunity to study back then, I don’t think I would have committed this crime.
The inmate now hopes to obtain funding so he can pursue a degree in Political Science.
Simelane thanked the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) for its support for inmates:
I wouldn't have done it without the support of the department. The officials encourage us to study so that we can come out of prison as better people.
According to DCS, inmates countrywide achieved a 77.3% matric pass rate in 2018. This was just two percentage points lower than the 79.42% national average.
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