The case for and against return of the death penalty

South Africa's high crime rates have resulted in increasing calls for the re-instatement of the death penalty as a deterrent.

Despite various polls indicating a significant portion of the country being in favour of its re-instatement, it remains a divisive and contentious issue that would require an amendment to the Constitution which protects citizens' right to life.

The death penalty was abolished more than 20 years ago with the advent of a post-apartheid society.

If we are going to bring back the death penalty, we would have to amend the Bill of Rights which is almost never a good idea.

Pierre de Vos, Constitutional Law expert

De Vos made it clear that any changes to the Bill of Rights requires a two-thirds majority vote in Parliament and says that will never happen.

702/Cape Talk's Eusebius McKaiser (standing-in for Redi Tlhabi) engaged constitutional law expert, Pierre de Vos, and director of Christian View Network, Philip Rosenthal, to present both sides of the argument regarding the issue.

De Vos said that the pro-death penalty deterrence argument conflicts with the heart of democratic South Africa's founding principles in upholding equality and justice.

People talk about the death penalty as if it's going to stop crime or be a deterrent, while all the evidence suggests is that it is not a deterrent.

Pierre de Vos, Constitutional Law expert

The SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) recently said the following in stating a case against the re-instatement of the death penalty:

"human beings who are not infallible ought not to choose a form of punishment which is irreparable".

However, Rosenthal emphasised that part of the process of justice is taking a life for a life in the form of capital punishment.

The view of the sanctity of life - which is held by most of South Africa and explained in the Bible - is one that sees the state having a role in administering justice which includes punishing murderers.

Philip Rosenthal, Christian View Network director

Listen to the conversation below:

Read More
Umuzi equips youth who want to crack it in the creative industry

Umuzi equips youth who want to crack it in the creative industry

Umuzi offers a one-year learnership that develops the next generation of creative professionals, explains founder Andrew Levy.

For unmarried fathers struggling to get access to their child, this is for you

For unmarried fathers struggling to get access to their child, this is for you

Magistrate Daniel Thulari and Martin Pelder unpack the rights and responsibilities of men who seek access to their children.

John Maytham's book reviews: Killers, eccentric families and a tale of injustice

John Maytham's book reviews: Killers, eccentric families and a tale of injustice

John reviews 3 books, a Chief Inspector who hunts serial killers, hilarious family antics...and a South African apartheid story.

Return of the death penalty mooted

Return of the death penalty mooted

The South African Institute for Race Relations (SAIRR) has released a report on whether capital punishment should be reinstated.

Shepherds & Butchers film unveils trauma of white men under apartheid regime

Shepherds & Butchers film unveils trauma of white men under apartheid regime

The film has started a conversation about how white men were also victims of oppression under the apartheid regime.

The life of "Prisoner 467/46"

The life of "Prisoner 467/46"

702 attends opening night of the premiere of the short feature documentary about the life of apartheid stalwart Andrew Mlangeni.

Popular articles
Ntsiki Mazwai gets behind 24 hour social media boycott #DataMustFall

Ntsiki Mazwai gets behind 24 hour social media boycott #DataMustFall

Ntsiki Mazwai is asking South Africans to stay off social media on Wednesday in a #DataMustFall campaign.

Are you having panic attacks? Here's what you need to know

Are you having panic attacks? Here's what you need to know

Behavioural psychologist Dr Helgo Schomer explains the symptoms, treatments and tips for people who suffer panic attacks.

Absa must pay back the money - Gwede Mantashe

Absa must pay back the money - Gwede Mantashe

Mantashe also says that the Reserve Bank is within its rights to review Mkhwebane's remedial actions recommendations.

[LISTEN] Home Affairs says Ajay Gupta was never a SA citizen - Eusebius responds

[LISTEN] Home Affairs says Ajay Gupta was never a SA citizen - Eusebius responds

A statement released by Home Affairs confirms that Ajay Gupta only has a permanent resident permit and is not a citizen of SA.

CAPS is killing teachers passion - caller

CAPS is killing teachers passion - caller

CapeTalk caller says Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) is not good for South Africa's education system.