ActionSA’s Six-Point Plan to Restore the Rule of Law in South Africa

Fellow Actioners, members of the media, and most importantly: You the South African people,

We are gathered here today in but one example of the many dysfunctional police stations across the country to present ActionSA’s six-point plan to fix our police stations, end crime and restore the rule of law in our communities.

Police stations such as this one in Primrose, Ekurhuleni, are at the frontline of safety provision in our communities, but so often fail our communities.

They often fail to respond to emergency calls from residents, have broken telephone lines, lack basic infrastructure or have broken vehicles unable to do any patrols.

In worse instances – as we have seen with Patricia Khoza’s arrest at this police station over this past weekend – they actively fail to protect South African residents and instead intimidate the victims of crime – not the perpetrators.

Do not be mistaken: there are proud and ethical police officers within the police service, but they so often get a bad reputation because of the corrupt actions of a few.

For us to fix South Africa, we have to change this.

For us to ignite economic growth and create millions of new jobs, we have to end crime and restore the rule of law in our communities.

Fellow South Africans,

It is clear that the criminal justice system is currently failing law-abiding South Africans.

Instances of rape, murder, and assault have become so widespread that they are considered a daily reality of living in a South Africa characterised by lawlessness.

Today, South Africa has an estimated 86 murders which take place every single day while every 11 minutes a woman is being raped in this country.

It is simply unacceptable that we have allowed this lawlessness to flourish in South Africa.

It was a week ago today that our ActionSA Gauteng Premier Candidate, Funzi Ngobeni and ActionSA Youth Forum Chairperson, Hluphi Gafane, were hijacked in Pretoria.

A week later, Funzi’s bakkie is still missing and no arrests have been made.

It was this past weekend, that we saw the tragic and senseless murder of five-year-old Ditebogo Junior Phalane.

To date, not a single arrest has been made.

Daily, we hear stories of rape and murder. Our newspapers are filled with gruesome details of farm owners being killed, hijackings and theft.

But nothing ever comes of these cases. The police fail to investigate and the National Prosecuting Authority fails to prosecute. And so the perpetrators of crime get away.

Under the ruling party, it appears that it pays to do a crime.

We need to reform our policing and justice system to ensure that accountability is restored.

From the wealthy politicians, to every day South Africans, everyone should fear the rule of law.

Fellow South Africans,

ActionSA is unapologetic in our stance that harsh consequences must be put in place for violent criminals. We will not tolerate a society where criminals act with impunity while law-abiding citizens live in fear.

Our solutions to restore the rule of law seek not only to reform policing and prosecutions themselves but also aim to address the socio-political drivers of crime, such as hunger and poverty, by growing the economy and creating jobs.

ActionSA’s six-point plan to restore the rule of law in South Africa includes:

1) Building a stronger and independent police service

2) Reintroducing specialised policing units

3) Reforming correctional service to stamp out corruption and restore order

4) Ensuring that a life in prison means a life in prison

5) Professionalising the NPA, and reintroducing the scorpions

6) Securing our borders to stop the inflow of illicit goods.

Our plans to combat crime will ensure that respect for the rule of law is entrenched at all levels of society. We will establish a South Africa where people can feel safe in their homes and communities.

Firstly, ActionSA will Build a Stronger and Independent Police Service

Our police force plays a vital role in combatting crime and protecting those who call South Africa home.

The mere presence of the police in vulnerable communities acts as a powerful deterrent to crime.

For this reason, we will reduce the government’s almost R4 billion expenditure on VIP protection and reallocate these funds towards crime prevention and visible policing.

It is unjust that politicians have access to VIP protection services, while ordinary South Africans live in fear of criminality every day.

We acknowledge the important and dangerous work performed by the SAPS. However, the police service must be further capacitated to deal with the high levels of crime in our country.

ActionSA will focus its efforts on professionalising the police service so that our officers are better prepared to prevent and combat crime.

We will launch a recruitment drive to expand the police service and establish it as a desirable career opportunity. This will ensure that talented and committed people serve as officers of the law.

We will help create a pathway to permanent employment for the almost 4,000 police reservists in the country who, in some cases, have waited almost 20 years for permanent employment.

Recruitment and vetting practices will be improved to ensure that police officers are appointed based on merit, and their competence to serve.

Under an ActionSA government, police officers will be required to maintain a high level of professional performance. We will enforce strict weapon safety standards for all law enforcement officers to increase accountability as well as public safety.

Every community in our country should have access to police services, and the safety of residents in both urban and rural areas must be considered.

An ActionSA-led government will invest in the construction of more police stations, and we will introduce mobile police infrastructure so that more people have access to police services in remote areas.

Secondly, ActionSA would Reintroduce Specialised Policing Units

When I grew up, units like the Brixton Police specialised unit for murder were highly effective in combatting crime.

Everyone feared the unit and knew that when the unit tackled a crime, it would be solved.

But, under the ruling party, these units were disastrously dissolved – leading to the exponential rise in crime we have seen.

This is why an ActionSA government would urgently reintroduce specialised policing units in order for us to turn the tide on crime in South Africa.

This is because combatting different types of crime requires specific tactics and expertise.

We will introduce crime units specialising in rural safety, anti-gangsterism, organised crime, economic sabotage, as well as drug trafficking. We believe that these investigative units will speed up criminal investigations and prosecutions, and ultimately minimise criminal activity within our borders.

Thirdly, ActionSA will Reform Correctional Service to End Corruption and Restore Order

South Africa’s correctional services have an important role in holding offenders accountable for their crimes, while also ensuring that offenders can be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society.

To ensure that prison facilities uphold the rule of law, we will enforce strict codes of conduct for correctional services staff to prevent instances of bribery and misconduct.

Under ActionSA, Thabo Bester will never have been able to escape – only to be discovered nearly a year later.

In addition, ActionSA will ensure that prisons are sufficiently staffed so that correctional officers can adequately supervise inmates in their custody.

Prisons cannot be havens for violent groups and individuals. ActionSA will implement stricter disciplinary measures and anti-gangsterism programmes in prisons to combat violence among this population.

We will also reduce violence among prisoners by building more correctional facilities that separate violent and non-violent criminals. Abandoned buildings in rural areas will be converted into prisons for non-violent offenders.

Inmates should be required to repay their debt to society. ActionSA will introduce work programmes in prisons that focus on public works. This will not only provide inmates with work experience, but society will benefit from their labour.

Prison will no longer be a holiday resort, but a place where prisoners repay their debt to society.

Fourthly, ActionSA will ensure that Life in Prison Will Mean Life in Prison

Under an ActionSA government, protecting the rights, freedoms, and safety of law-abiding citizens will always come first.

We believe that criminals who receive life sentences should remain in prison for the duration of their sentences.

ActionSA will remove the possibility of parole for those found guilty of multiple rape and murder charges.

While we believe that offenders should be given a chance for rehabilitation, criminals with multiple violent offences have squandered their chances of becoming law-abiding and productive members of society.

Violating our country’s laws and endangering the lives of others should have harsh consequences.

An ActionSA-led government will increase penalties for violent crimes to deter future acts of violence in our society.

We will implement longer prison sentences for the crimes of murder, rape, assault, drug dealing, armed robbery, and human trafficking. These crimes ruin the social fabric of our nation by endangering the lives of our men, women, and children.

Finally, we believe that the right to vote was established from a long and hard-won battle for the betterment of our nation.

For this reason, we will lobby to withdraw the right to vote from violent criminals serving life sentences.

Fifthly, ActionSA would Professionalise the NPA, and Reintroduce the Scorpions

In 2009, in one of the greatest evils to have ever taken place in this country, the ruling party disbanded the highlight effective Scorpions simply because it was investigating former President, Jacob Zuma.

The unit was highly successful, boasting a conviction rate of 90% and seizing assets worth R1 billion, along with confiscating R1 billion in contraband.

ActionSA will reverse this travesty and urgently reintroduce the scorpions to ensure that it can go back to fighting crime and arresting criminals – including politicians.

We will seek to establish the Scorpions as a permanent agency within the South African constitution, while also endeavouring to introduce a permanent Chapter 9 anti-corruption institution tasked with investigating and prosecuting corruption within the constitution.

And, we will capacitate the National Prosecuting Authority and establish specialised courts to deal with specific crime categories, such as organised crime and corruption, to increase the efficiency of convictions and so increase accountability.

Finally, ActionSA would Secure our Borders to Stop the Inflow of Illicit Goods

Increasing control over our borders ensures that all goods and people entering South Africa do so lawfully.

We will improve the surveillance and management of our country’s borders by deploying the Border Management Authority (BMA) to reduce crime and harmful illegal trade in South Africa.

ActionSA will enhance collaboration efforts between the SAPS, SANDF, and the BMA to ensure our borders are monitored effectively.

In addition, we will implement technological solutions to better monitor the transnational flow of goods and people between South Africa and its neighbouring countries.

We want the people of the world to come to South Africa, but they must do so by following our laws.

Alongside securing our borders, ActionSA will reform the Department of Home Affairs by addressing structural deficiencies to ensure improved and efficient enforcement of immigration regulations.

Fellow South Africans,

It is possible to restore the rule of law in South Africa and live in a country where it is safe to walk the streets.

It is possible for our women to feel safe to use public transport alone, and for criminals to be prosecuted in this country.

It is possible to turn the tide in this country, but for that to happen it will require all of us to take action at the ballot box on May 29th.

It is possible for ActionSA’s policies to be implemented and to live in a safe and secure South Africa.

But, for that to happen, we will need to take action and vote for ActionSA at the ballot box this year.

Because, it is only through action that we can restore the rule of law.

It is only through action that we have safe communities.

It is only through action that we can have an effective and functioning police.

Because only action will fix South Africa.

I thank you.