/ 25 March 2024

ATM will treat criminals like ‘dogs’ and bring back death penalty, says leader Zungula

Vuyo Zungula
ATM president, Vuyo Zungula. (@ATMovement_SA/Twitter)

African Transformation Movement (ATM) leader Vuyo Zungula has vowed that criminals will be treated like dogs, with their human rights not having much weight under a government led by his party.

Speaking in Jabulani, Soweto, during the party’s Johannesburg regional rally on Sunday, Zungula said criminals deserve no mercy and he would not want to be politically correct in the treatment of people that are terrorising society. 

“Under the ATM government, we are not going to be playing sweetheart with criminals. We are not going to be saying to a criminal ‘baby, come to prison, you have got three meals a day, baby, you got free DSTV baby, you’ve got water and electricity, baby’,” he quipped.

“Under the ATM, a criminal will be afraid to think they can succeed as a criminal. Under the ATM, be rest assured the law will say ‘nja’ [dog]. Under the ATM we are not going to protect people who do not respect the right to life for others.” 

Zungula made the comments against the backdrop of the latest crime statistics released by Police Minister Bheki Cele which showed that from October to December last year, 7 710 people were murdered, an increase of 155 from the same period in the previous year.

Zungula said the death penalty —  which South Africa abolished in 1995 — would be brought back under an ATM government.

“If you look in neighbouring countries like Botswana, they have got a death penalty and no one is complaining about criminals,” he said.

“We are going to empower the police that if your life is under threat by a criminal, do not shoot the leg or up in the sky, erase that thing. We can’t be thinking about human rights for criminals.” 

Zungula said the ATM would expropriate land without compensation and every home would be given a farm to ensure food security. He said when land had been taken from black people, it was not asked for and those who took it didn’t buy it.

“They killed our people and that is why we must never negotiate over the injustice of land disposition,” he said.

“We can’t have food security that is dependent on a few farms, we need food security in our country that is dependent on citizens themselves. We need to invest in farming to ensure that 50% of these produce in each and every retailer in their community, it is not sought from big farmers but emerging farmers.” 

To create jobs, the party would aim at reindustrialisation and stop buying things such as “umbrellas and toothpicks” from other countries, Zungula said.

“South Africa will not be a made-in-China product under the ATM. Most products under the ATM government will be made in South Africa and that is how you create jobs,” he said.

“You build factories, you manufacture in the country. We will make sure South Africa stops importing things that it can produce. We want a state in our country whereby South Africans can enjoy their economy.”