Prison seemed an unlikely place for Frans Tabane to begin a new life
Adiploma in ministry and a future degree in
business is just the start of Frans’ accomplishments. He is also a very
well-liked and influential man.
If you want to meet him, though, you will have to make arrangements with
Johannesburg Correctional Centre in South Africa. Frans is a convicted
criminal serving time in the prison’s Centre of Excellence.
“My grandmother gave me lots of advice which I ignored,” Frans
says. “She warned me about taking drugs and drinking alcohol, she also
encouraged me to get a good education because then I could become a better
“I was having too much fun at the time to listen and my mind was not
functioning properly because of all the drugs. My friends were also a bad
influence at this time and I was not strong enough to say no to
Frans became involved in home robbery and petty theft. He would join with
gangs who would steal money, cell-phones and other valuables. Before long he
was arrested and sentenced to prison.
“I am thankful to be in prison,” he says. “It is here that I
began to know myself and it is here that I learnt about the Saviour Jesus
Christ. A friend from ‘outside’ came to visit me and told me about
Jesus Christ and how He took the punishment I deserved for my rebellion
“I wanted to learn more, so I attended the prison church,” Frans
continues. “Then I went to the morning and afternoon prayers so I could
learn how to speak to God and I also began to read the Bible. The Bible says
that ‘if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your
heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.’ Romans
10:9. So, I confessed all my sins to God, believed that Jesus Christ died for
me and then I asked God for His forgiveness for my sins.”
Frans is amazed at the difference Jesus Christ has made in his life. Instead
of being filled with anger and hatred, he is filled with the love of God and
has a desire to help others both inside and outside of the prison.
“I often tell people that it was the Devil, the enemy of God, that used
me and then left me at the gates of Johannesburg Prison,” Frans said.
“It was Jesus Christ that came to the gate of the prison and rescued me,
because I am one of His children and He loves me. Now, I am ‘the light
of the world’ and with other Christians I must shine for Jesus and tell
others what He has done for them.
“I thank God today that He has released me from bondage. I am grounded
in the word of God and I thank Him for the privilege I have to serve Him. I
love Him and will obey Him,” Frans concludes.