Many South Africans have recently called upon the reinstatement of the death penalty to curb violent crime, such as murder and sexual assault.

Some victims believe the death penalty will serve as a deterrent for perpetrators.

The latest crime statistics show that over 20 000 people have been murdered, and 50 000 cases of sexual assault were reported countrywide since April 2018 to the end of March 2019.

This means 58 people are murdered as well as 144 sexual offences committed everyday.

The death penalty in South Africa was abolished in 1995.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola says capital punishment has failed to curb crime even during Apartheid.

“Obviously, South Africa is a constitutional democracy. We cannot stop people from debating. But the reality of our country is that death penalty has been declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court. So, it will be almost impossible to reinstate the death penalty. But all literature and scientific research show that death penalty is not a deterrent for crime.

“In South Africa under apartheid, we had more crime than now. And when we came in, in 1994, we had 61 000 murder cases when there was death penalty. And now it has halved to about 31 000 or so. So, it shows that death penalty was not a deterrent,” says the Minister of Justice.