Zuma: Need for debate on bail for rape, murder accused

African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma on Friday said that the issue of bail for those accused of rape and murder needs to be debated.

Speaking at the launch of the KwaZulu-Natal Institute of Local Government and Traditional Leadership Fundraising Summit, Zuma said: ”I don’t think we have debated the issue.

”Let us do something that favours the victim and not the criminal.”

Asked if he was personally in favour of rape and murder accused being denied bail, Zuma said: ”I’m not saying it’s my personal view. I want to say that these things need to be looked at.”

Zuma cited a number of examples where members of the public have questioned him about criminals being released on bail. ”I have not been able to give them answers. We overstretch human rights sometimes,” he said.

He pointed out that once a murder has taken place, a person’s right to life has already been infringed. ”We need to look at the things we do that don’t favour the victim.”

He also said it is an ”open secret” that murderers released on bail often interfere with witnesses.

Zuma said he believes that education can play a major role in combating crime. He said that education needs to go beyond schools and into homes; at the same time chastised what he described as ”anti-educational” programmes being broadcast to children and the youth.

”If we don’t educate people, a hundred years from now we will still be a developing nation.”

The ANC president also decried the lack of manners among the youth and the fact that many are drinking at taverns. He said that in his youth, youngsters gave up their bus seats for the elderly.

”Today, they simply tell you that they also paid their bus fare.”

‘I won’t tolerate any pathetic excuses’

Meanwhile, the Star reported on Thursday that Deputy Minister of Safety and Security Susan Shabangu told police that they should kill criminals if the criminals threaten police or the community.

”You must kill the bastards if they threaten you or the community. You must not worry about the regulations. That is my responsibility. Your responsibility is to serve and protect,” Shabangu said at an anti-crime imbizo in Pretoria West.

Shabangu, who received a standing ovation, was responding to questions on what police and the government are doing to curb crime.

Residents of Danville, Pretoria West, Lotus Gardens, Hercules and Elandspoort complained about the ”pathetic excuses” given by police allegedly unable or unwilling to deal with crime.

”I want to assure the police station commissioners and policemen and women from these areas that they have permission to kill these criminals.

”I won’t tolerate any pathetic excuses for you not being able to deal with crime. You have been given guns, now use them.”

She added that there should be no warning shots.

”I want no warning shots. You have one shot and it must be a kill shot. If you miss, the criminals will go for the kill. They don’t miss. We can’t take this chance.

”Criminals are hell-bent on undermining the law and they must now be dealt with. If criminals dare to threaten the police or the livelihood or lives of innocent men, women and children, they must be killed. End of story. There are to be no negotiations with criminals.” — Sapa

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