30 September 2006
Human rights should be humane first
Vereeniging - "Democracy is to hear what the people say. A referendum regarding the death penalty must be held now," says Judge Gerhardus Hattingh.
"All right-thinking South Africans, brown, black or white, want the death penalty to be re-introduced," said the judge in sentencing three young men for the murder of Makgabo Matlala, granddaughter of Transvaal Judge-President Bernard Ngoepe.
Johannes Siphiwe Molefe, 22, was sentenced to two life terms for rape and murder, and 20 years' for robbery.
Lucky Ndlovu, 21, received a life sentence for murder, two life terms for repeated rape, and 20 years' for robbery.
Steve Tsietsi Mhlanga, 22, was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment for robbery and 10 years for taking part in the crime. The sentences will run concurrently.
Referred to constitution
Judge Hattingh said a true democracy was to listen to the people. The time had now arrived, he said.
In passing sentence, he referred to the constitution, which stated every person had the right to life. The Constitutional Court ruled in 1995 that the death penalty was unconstitutional.
He said if the constitution made provision for the right to life, it also should make provision that the life of murderers - who took the life of others - should be taken.
"If all else fails, the constitution should be rewritten. What the people want must triumph.
"That's why a referendum regarding the death penalty must take place."
He said the people had to be given an opportunity to be heard; not just a few in high positions who made sentimental remarks about the compassion they had for crime victims.
Rosy future is 'nonsense'
Hattingh said he had earlier read with "shock and dismay" reports which quoted Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula as saying crime was declining and the country's future was rosy.
Judge Hattingh said he had to tread carefully, but continued: "With respect - that's nonsense.
"Every time crime statistics are announced, the opportunity is also taken to announce what's going to happen to curb crime.
"Not a lot has happened."
The judge said he wasn't allowed to move into the political arena, but he had to deliver judgment.
"I took an oath. It's my duty and my job. No one can tell a judge how he has to pass sentence, but it has to be judicial."
He said the government had to get a lot of blame for not being able to stop the crime wave rippling through the country.
He also criticised the fact that the sentences would run concurrently.
Must spend 40 years in jail
Judge Hattingh told State advocate Elbie Leonard SC the application of the judicial system was "sick" and the State should re-address it, because to sentence someone to different terms of imprisonment was "just of academic interest."
The judge ruled that they could be eligible for parole only after 40 years in prison.
"Maybe you will be respectable by then," said Judge Hattingh.
Taken from News24.co.za
By now it should be clear to you that my views on racial relations are not exactly positive. But for the love of the gods, look at that man in the picture. My heart bleeds when I see anyone in that position. What kind of justice is there for a man like that who lost his son to savagery? NOTHING can bring back his son. What do these savages get in return for committing a deed that is characteristic of animals in the wild? A life in prison with free food, a free bed and a free gym contract. Certainly, they can't come and go as they please ( at least that is what the idea is), but who has to pay for this less luxurious life? THATS RIGHT!! Mr Matlala and other tax payers.
This fucks me off and makes me de-bliksem in. Gas the fucking tsotsi's!! South Africa and the world will be a better place without them. Mr Matlala will not get his son back, but at least he will have the peace of mind that the fuckers won't be back. Dead men commit no crimes.
Ubaba Matlala, namlhanye siyakhala. (That's poor isiZulu for "Mister Matlala, we are crying together today.")
No more tsotsi's! No more crime! Simple as that.
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