Botswana: Aiming at fostering regional solidarity, friendship, understanding and cooperation through sports and culture, the 3rd Edition of the Southern African Corrections, Prisons & Penitentiary Services Sports & Cultural Games was indeed a success.
The week-long event hosted by the South African Department of Correctional Services in Pretoria saw six member states from the SADC Region participate in different sporting and cultural activities. Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, led by their Service Chiefs, all congregated for the common purpose of promoting unity through sport.
When officially closing the games at Kgosi Mampuru II Management Center Sports Grounds in Pretoria on Friday, the South African Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, said the games should be a very good example that the SADC Region can be the best in the world in sports and culture.
He said if all could participate in sports with the same vitality and attitude, the positive mentality could rub off into society and change the cause of the whole SADC region.
Minister Lamola highlighted that the games exhibited exemplary behaviour of sportsmanship. He said the discipline and dedication that is needed in sport is the same discipline needed at work and the entire civil society; hence, the need for Corrections/Prisons Services to continue organising events of this status.
“Sport bring about character and social cohesion – to exchange ideas and views amongst each…It builds a character of the SADC Region,” he said.
On welcoming the Guests earlier on, the South African National Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services Makgothi Thobakgale, said the 2023 Southern African Corrections, Prisons & Penitentiary Services Sports & Cultural Games are an indication of a programme that is maturing.
He stated that the first Edition of the games were hosted by South Africa in 2006, while the second installment was hosted by the Republic of Botswana in 2015.
He indicated that in June 2022, the Corrections/Prisons Sub Committee called upon the need to revive the Regional Games, and in line with thematic area number 7 of the 2021 – 2025 SADC Strategic Action Plan, South Africa was tasked with the responsibility to host the 3rd Edition of the games in 2023.
The fourth Edition of the games will be hosted by the Namibian Correctional Services in 2025.
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand.” – Nelson Mandela.