Picture: for illustration purposes

ActionSA Proposes Hard Labour for Convicted Criminals

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

South African political party ActionSA is advocating for a major change in the justice system - imposing a mandatory punishment of hard labour for convicted rapists and murderers. With an alarming crime rate plaguing the nation, the party believes that the current criminal justice system lacks severe consequences that could deter the recurrence of serious crimes.

The party's national chairperson, Michael Beaumont, expressed that the proposal's goal is to cultivate deterrence among criminals, thereby preventing them from recommitting violent offences. He emphasized the importance of balancing the rights of both perpetrators and victims. “We often focus on perpetrators' rights in discussions about crime. But what about the rights of their victims and the society, who are repeatedly harmed by these criminals even after serving jail time?” remarked Beaumont.

He stressed that criminals' hard labour should aim at reconstructing their society, particularly participating in infrastructure programmes and various projects aimed at societal amplification. Beaumont further questioned the perceived human rights violation in the hard labour when ordinary citizens engage in it daily.

Adding on to this, ActionSA’s chief strategist, André Coetzee, remarked that South Africans have grown impatient with crime and its virtually inconsequential repercussions in the criminal justice system.

However, Richard Chemaly, a high court attorney, labelled the proposal as ‘shallow’, expressing skepticism about the efficacy of hard labour in deterring crime. He argued that South Africa’s justice system is intricately founded upon reform rather vigilante justice, and suggested that focus should be on improving crime reporting, charging, and convicting mechanisms.

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