The Running Commentary

Zuma on Crime

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I really could not resist posting this extract from a speech by Jacob Zuma on crime in South Africa and how he feels crime is treated very democratically in this country. As a recipient of this democracy in terms of the justice system, it is particularly interesting to hear his stance.

‘Too soft, too nice’ on crime
Zuma also said South Africa is too soft on crime.

“[We] consider criminals in a democratic way and our laws at times are user friendly,” said Zuma at a briefing with black business representatives.

Zuma said even if someone killed a person in front of numerous witnesses; “according to the law and technicality we are going to say he is a suspect.

“We are too soft. Too nice.”

He said police officers were directed by the law that they had to inform someone that they were going to be arrested and that the suspect did not have to answer any question and could call a lawyer.

“I think that is a democratisation of criminality,” he said.

He said the way rights had been interpreted in SA might also contribute to this.

“[According to the law] my rights should be equal to the

Zuma said even the name of the safety and security department reflected SA’s softness on crime.

“It’s safety and security. That’s very democratic. [It’s] not law and order. It doesn’t suggest we are dealing with crime really.

“You want to maintain order and adherence to law but instead it is safety and security”.

Zuma said he was “part of those who believe we can deal with crime”.

He gave several suggestions of what could be changed to help fight crime.

Zuma said firstly there was not enough visible policing.

“It doesn’t tally with the claim that crime is too high.”

He also said the remuneration of police needed to be re-evaluated.

Police could not be expected to deal with criminals who were making millions while they were getting by on so little, said Zuma.

This scenario is what could lead to corruption.

Zuma said for certain categories of crime, there should be no possibility of bail.

He also criticised plea bargains.

“To negotiate with a criminal to make an agreement; well, it’s a little out of place”

He said while some might say measures like these were part of democracy that should not be undermined, in the meantime “people die”.

This may be our future leader and he is certainly saying the correct things, but man alive this doesn’t half sound a bit hypocritical coming from his mouth!

CrimeSouth AfricaZuma

Mike • October 9, 2008

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