EMOTIONAL Sanele Nyawusa in between other matric pupils at Westville Prison. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency (ANA)
EMOTIONAL Sanele Nyawusa in between other matric pupils at Westville Prison. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency (ANA)

KZN inmate breaks down minutes before writing his final matric exam

By Harvest Thwala Time of article published Dec 1, 2021

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EMOTIONS ran high for Grade 12 prisoners who wrote their last paper of the National Senior Certificate exam at Westville correctional service centre.

A Grade 12 inmate dressed in navy prison uniform cried tears of joy and gratitude for being granted an opportunity to continue with his studies in prison.

Sanele Nyawusa from Bizana, who has spent 3 years in prison, was very emotional and cried throughout the speeches just before receiving his isiZulu paper 3 question paper.

When he spoke to the Independent Media, Nyawusa said he studied matric before getting convicted but he didn't do well because he was not serious.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity and I'm positive that this time around I will pass. I’m determined to further my studies and become a teacher and maybe one day in 2026 when I come out I will become a successful person,” Nyawusa said.

This happened at Westville prison where the acting head of the department, Dr Barney Mthembu visited to monitor their last exam paper.

Usethubeni Youth School at Westville prison sang songs of gratitude and hope echoing through its walls as 19 inmates who wrote the final NSC final exam last paper expressed their gratitude.

Another inmate who also has served 3 years of his sentence came forward with joy to deliver a speech to thank the department of correctional services at Westville, the acting head of the department, Dr Barney Mthembu and the KwaZulu-Natal department of education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu.

Njabulo Gwala, 21, thanked the Westville correctional services, the MEC of education and the HOD for caring for and supporting them in this journey.

“I am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for the support that we receive in this prison. Our teachers played their part in teaching and preparing us for the exam. As a result, students were determined and positive from the beginning of the exams and I promise to pass with a Bachelor's certificate and get distinctions,” Gwala said.

Gwala thanked some of the wardens for stressing the importance of education and supporting them through everything.

Mthembu said in the past he was teaching geography in the school. He applauded the inmates for their discipline and commitment towards their studies.

“In all the years that I taught here I found that the boys are very very intelligent. One of the boys came up with a formula for calculating a map scale and that time I was a subject advisor. I took that formula and even today we are still using that formula because it took us away from a long calculation.”

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