Get tougher on addicts
A WORLD-class city requires worldclass citizens. When the media report on crimes where women and children are ripped apart, I always wonder if those in judicial authority are conscious of the destruction generated by violent addicts. When caught, criminals often cannot explain their behaviour except to blame the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Why our legal system insists on recycling seriously violent addicts is perplexing. Instead of removing them permanently from society, the state recently allocated another R5.8 billion of taxpayers’ money to deal with prison gang culture. In my view, the rise in vigilante activity and mob justice occurs when people lose faith in the state’s ability to protect them.
In her book, The Watchman’s Rattle, Rebecca Costa uses historical and modern examples to describe what happens when complexity races ahead of the brain’s ability to manage it. She also focuses on the underlying reason why experts and governments can no longer fix conflict. In my view, the replies to local problems are analytical, but continue to be resisted for nefarious and devious purposes.
By removing the death penalty, politicians have engaged society in a costly cycle of violence. Ironically, hard-working taxpayers have to pay for the upkeep of those who seek to harm society, while the same citizens are kept in a perpetual state of fear by the presence of this evil.
Media reports also suggest that the “established” legal fraternity is concerned about the quality of graduates entering the profession; candidates apparently lack critical thinking among other skills. Though this may be true, it is ironic coming from a profession that survives and thrives on liberating violent criminals. While the right to a defence is constitutional, how many law firms help those who cannot pay? In my view the ideals of justice are often perverted for material gain and public concerns are disregarded. While hard-working prosecutors and detectives struggle to convict the guilty with sensible evidence, defence attorneys practise legal acrobatics to free criminals.
In our society, it seems as if drug and alcohol use has become a rational legal alibi and an acceptable excuse for unfathomable evil. Common sense suggests that most addicts are unemployable and exist off the proceeds of crime. It is accepted that addicts create chaos, economic loss and have the ability to destroy social relations. For social progress, I suggest criminalising the actual addict for his/her addiction to cocaine, tik, mandrax, heroin and so on.
Communities will be safer and the supply chain will be challenged. This city and province would save millions otherwise spent on vandalism, theft, hospital expenses, legal costs and the maintenance of an expanding law enforcement network.
To support this outcome, I encouraged the safety and security portfolio during the council budget address to research legislation to this effect. The objective would be to permanently tag and monitor habitual criminals, which would surely assist in curbing rampart crime.
A world-class Cape Town requires locals that are world-class citizens. Like the Romans and Mayans, do we idly stand by and witness the collapse of our partial freedoms. Can we envisage a society free of violent criminals?