A study of most sporadic uprisings will reveal that at the nexus of the crises is the ideal of seeking justice or fairness. Unfortunatly those who control governance have for historical reasons replaced the pursued of justice with the introduction of laws and processes at the heart of which is to undermine the concept of what is honourable and righteous. By removing the conscientiously inspired religious origin of justice and by the abolition of the death penalty, societies have become entangled within a morass of legalities. The principal of establishing the truth is not necessarily the primary objective.

In February 2007, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation was contracted by the government to carry out a study on the nature of crime in South Africa. The study concluded that the high levels of violence were as a result of the normalization of violence and the following factors:

[1] Violence comes to be seen as a necessary and justified means of resolving conflict. [2] The reliance on a justice system that is mired in many issues, including inefficiency and corruption. [3] A subculture of violence and criminality, ranging from individual criminals to informal groups or more formalized gangs. [4] Those involved in the subculture are engaged in criminal careers. [5] Credibility within this subculture is related to the readiness to resort to extreme violence. [6] The vulnerability of young people linked to inadequate child rearing and poor socialization. As a result some children are exposed to factors which enhance the chances that they will become criminals. [7] The high levels of inequality, poverty, unemployment, social exclusion and marginalization is also a major factor.

Police research revealed that 65% of murders began as assaults resulting from alcohol or drug-fuelled arguments. Statistics for the year ended April 2012 showed that there were 15609 murders last year, which equates to 43 murders a day. The South Africa murder rate is four and a half times the global average. Judge Desai Chairman of the National Council of Correctional Services recently said that the problem of overcrowding in prisons had worsened due to the large numbers serving life sentences. In 1995 there were 433 prisoners serving life, that figure was now 10314. According to the judge “when the country abolished the death penalty, it did not consider how it would deal with life sentences”. Currently we have the largest prison population in Africa and the ninth in the world.

What is obvious is that it is almost impossible to develop a progressive society with 43 murders daily. The murder statistic implies that at any given time, we have 15 695 new killers within society every year, give and take a few serial killers. With the relentless increase in the crime statistic, by 2022 we could have an additional 156 950 killers within the population. Since prisons are overflowing, is it not preferable and cost effective to remove the existing 15000 killers permanently? Why should taxpayers consider the welfare of killers of whom 65% killed because of alcohol or drug-fuelled, arguments.

Cllr Y Adams

Cape Muslim Congress

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