The victim’s rights

We all know crime in South Africa is a major concern for farmers, in that rural areas very seldom have effective police action and poor conviction rates.

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While there may be good, honest individual police staff at some management levels, one has to wonder about the attitude and commitment of the lower ranks. The so-called justice system tends to treat the criminal element as ‘special’ human rights beneficiaries. What about the right of the victim?

Often criminals get convicted of numerous crimes and yet judges and magistrates hand down sentences that run concurrently so the time served in total is a light sentence in effect! (‘Butterworth farm killers jailed’ – 20 April, pg 29 ). What are the South African judges thinking, or is it a case of the prisons being overcrowded as expressed by Zuma on the recent release of thousands of serving non-violent/lesser inmates?

Considering there may have been 55 reported farm attacks in South Africa from January to June, one would hope judges sentence criminals for all crimes committed in the execution of each farm attack, not just hand down a ‘slap on the wrist’ sentence for so-called lesser offences.

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