Stand­ing with Chatsworth against crime

Sunday Tribune - - NEWS&VIEWS -

WITH the tragic loss of nine-yearold Sa­dia Sukraj in a botched hi­jack­ing, emo­tions ran high in the Chatsworth com­mu­nity.

Res­i­dents protested against the bail ap­pli­ca­tion for the ac­cused and pleaded for jus­tice to be served.

The Chatsworth com­mu­nity stood united for a com­mon cause, to stop crime.

News sta­tions across the world watched with bated breath as men, women, chil­dren and the el­derly were tear-gassed and shot with rub­ber bul­lets.

Many had se­ri­ous in­juries, in­clud­ing a pen­sioner who had to wait for three hours in a cell be­fore po­lice took him to hospi­tal for surgery on a leg break.

Po­lice Min­is­ter Bheki Cele, in re­la­tion to the at­tempted hi­jack­ing, re­cently said: “We have ar­rested a man who has a string of crim­i­nal cases‚ in­clud­ing hi­jack­ing and at­tempted mur­der.

“I am told he was sen­tenced to seven years in 2013. I don’t know how peo­ple like him get pa­role – the one killed also has a long list of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity, as does the third.”

All three of the ac­cused had been ar­rested, charged and jailed pre­vi­ously for their crimes and yet with a crim­i­nal record as hor­rific as that they were still re­leased.

Asked about the fate of the ac­cused, Cele said: “Hope­fully they get life sen­tences be­cause they have a string of crimes against them.”

Hope­fully! Hope is a dream, Mr Cele, but im­ple­men­ta­tion is prac­ti­cal. The De­part­ment of Jus­tice must im­ple­ment an un­break­able law com­pelling all (such) crim­i­nals to serve life sen­tences with no pos­si­bil­ity of pa­role. Ei­ther that or we de­mand that the gov­ern­ment bring back the death penalty.

In cer­tain parts of the US mur­der is pun­ish­able by death or life im­pris­on­ment. In Saudi Ara­bia, crim­i­nals are im­me­di­ately sen­tenced to death for mur­der.

These strict laws are the rea­son why these coun­tries do not have the mas­sive crime statistics that we do. They are a de­ter­rent to would-be crim­i­nals. We need to learn from those coun­tries in or­der to im­ple­ment swift jus­tice for the safety of all South Africans.

Some may ar­gue that there is over­crowd­ing in pris­ons, with not enough space for the in­flux of long term con­victs. As a re­sult, first time of­fend­ers are usu­ally re­leased long be­fore their full sen­tence has been served. Af­ter the Chatsworth com­mu­nity protest, crime in­ci­dents did not stop. In an­other hi­jack­ing in Avoca Dur­ban, a fa­ther was shot in the head in front of his young chil­dren. Crim­i­nals have not been fazed by any of the strate­gies meant to stop them, if any­thing it has made them even more brazen in their re­volt against the po­lice.

These hard­ened crim­i­nals need to un­der­stand that South Africans will not tol­er­ate this kind of be­hav­iour any­more.

We are ris­ing up against crime! We will not let an­other daugh­ter die in vain. We will not stand by as an­other fa­ther is mur­dered in front of his chil­dren. We will not watch as our fam­i­lies suf­fer.

We will never go qui­etly into the night. We will fight to pro­tect our fam­i­lies by any means pos­si­ble. Crim­i­nals beware!

My name is Velisa Naicker and I stand with the peo­ple of Chatsworth! VELISA NAICKER


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