ActionSA’s highest decision-making body has blocked Herman Mashaba’s proposal to reintroduce the death penalty in South Africa and make it part of the party’s policy.
Mashaba, president of ActionSA, has come under criticism on several occasions for his stance on the reintroduction of the death penalty as a solution to the wave of crime plaguing the country.
For now, he has lost this battle over the death penalty.
The issue was one of several discussed at the party’s four-day strategic planning session of the senate, ActionSA’s highest decision-making body.
According to ActionSA’s senate, the death penalty is not the solution and it has been rejected as a possible policy. The body suggested that the focus should instead be on accountability measures, which ensure that criminals sentenced to life in prison are behind bars for the rest of their lives – and not just 25 years.
Michael Beaumont, ActionSA’s national chairman, said after the planning session that one of the draft policy proposals discussed was the reinstatement of the Scorpions and the establishment of a parliamentary committee to oversee the work of chapter 9 institutions.
A proposal has also been made for the establishment of what the party calls an “opportunity fund” “which will unashamedly focus on the inclusive empowerment of all South Africans who were discriminated against under apartheid”.
“I completely agree. After a robust debate with the senate following ActionSA’s expertly led policy process, I am convinced by the evidence that the South African criminal justice system should not be trusted to determine who lives and who dies,” said Mashaba.
“Instead, I believe that we should impose severe punishments for the most heinous crimes. This includes, among other things, that criminals are not given the option of parole.
“We must also continue to work to tackle the socio-economic drivers of crime. I maintain that no convicted murderer or rapist should be allowed to hurt anyone again.
“ActionSA will make further proposals to deal with rampant crime, restore the rule of law and tackle socio-economic challenges at our upcoming policy conference which takes place from 12 to 14 September.”
According to Beaumont, the draft policy proposals discussed during the planning session have been sent to delegates nationwide so they can be discussed at the conference. The delegates will have an opportunity to examine the draft policy proposals and there will be a series of meetings over the next two weeks – leading up to the policy conference.
Beaumont says it took eight months to compile the policy proposals after extensive interaction with, among others, industry experts, ActionSA members and South African citizens.
“The solutions that will be discussed at the conference will pave the way for the creation of the party’s manifesto that will give millions of South Africans a real alternative to the existing political institutions and will strengthen hope before the national and provincial elections next year,” says Beaumont.