Last Thursday night, for example, Kayla Rawstone (aged 1), was sentenced to death.
She was celebrating her first birthday with her mother and grandmother when they were hijacked and abducted by three "men". The first to receive the death sentence was Kayla's grandmother who was killed and dumped soon after the hijack took place. A 16 year old girl was hereafter abducted as well and taken (together with Kayla and her mother) to a remote place outside Pretoria.
Here, the three men acted as judge, jury and executioners. It is not clear what these women (and baby) stood accused of; except maybe their gender as both women were raped and beaten repeatedly. After an orgy of lust and violence, Kayla was the next to receive the death sentence. The mother's pleas for clemency were ignored while she was forced to witness the execution-style killing of her only child. Both women received their death sentences soon afterwards. They were also shot and left for dead.
Incredibly, the 16 year-old, shot through the mouth, survived the ordeal and assisted in the arrest of these monsters.
The problem is that in this country, where all law-abiding tax-paying citizens live under the constant threat of the death penalty, these murderers don't. They are guaranteed the "right to life" by a constitution badly failing the rest of society. If the inadequate legal system manages to get them behind bars, they will enjoy a relative trouble-free life for the next 10 years or so on the back of the same taxpayer, before being released in yet another government amnesty or on parole. That is if they haven't escaped by then.
The current Government is unwilling to release detailed crime statistics, but a recent Interpol report showed that 59 out of every 100,000 South Africans received the "death penalty" in 1998. It is the highest murder rate in the world, beating Columbia by 3 murders per 100,000 of the population and is more than 10 times the international average. Incidentally, 3 murders per 100,000 is actually the murder rate for Spain!
The vast majority of all South Africans, irrespective of race, colour, creed or gender, support a state death penalty. Our so-called "democratic" government is however not interested in adhering to the will of the people by re-instating it, thereby disregarding the most basic of democratic principles. They continue to callously ignore the will of a people who, without exception, face an informal death penalty every day. The government's policies, directly and indirectly, contribute to this sad state of affairs.
Killed because "they were white"Describing the murderer, rapist and kidnapper as "Satan incarnate" judge Monica Leeuw sentenced William Kekana on 27 July to six life sentences plus sixty years. Leeuw, who handed down the sentence that will ultimately only make Kekana eligible for parole after 54 years, said that she, in her 27 years in the legal profession, had never encountered one so evil.
Kekana initially blamed his behaviour on the divorce of his parents when he was 17 but then admitted that he found crime easy.
He said he had not expected to be arrested as "all the charges previously had been withdrawn due to lack of evidence. "I found it very easy and simple to commit the crimes". Kekana told the court he had killed the family because they were white and because of apartheid.
"I am a black man and you are a white man and I forgave you. I ask you to forgive me," Kekana told state advocate Dewald Reynierse during cross-examination of his evidence in mitigation of sentence. Kekana's remark elicited a gasp from the presiding judge and the public gallery.
"You raped a white lady and killed her and her family because of apartheid... What do you know about apartheid?" interjected Leeuw, who pointed out that Kekana had been born in 1984.
Kekana asked the court through Roothman not to give him a life sentence as he would "prefer death" to receiving another life sentence. He had been previously convicted on other charges.
Kayla's father and Janine's fiancé at the time of the murder, Clifford Rawstone, said he would only forgive Kekana the day he saw him hang. But he and the rest of the family said they were happy with the sentence as it brought closure. Rawstone's father, Henry, said it had helped seeing the accused, but he wanted the death penalty back.
Interesting that the victims' family, most South Africans and even the killer himself wants the death penalty. Yet, in this supposedly "democratic" state the government is not interested - not even in acknowledging Kekana's right to die!