According to IOL, the Elsies River community called for the return of the death penalty as President Cyril Ramaphosa grabbed the mic, preparing to talk to the angry community on Tuesday afternoon.
President Ramaphosa visited the parents of murdered Elsies River girl Tazne van Wyk, Terence Manuel and Carmen van Wyk. He expressed his condolences and pledged to support them during burial preparations.
The President apologised to the community saying, “The suspect behind the killing of Tazne should not have been released because after he was released on parole, he committed murder that shows there is something wrong with our parole system.”
“I stand here to say that we are sorry as the government that a person who was never supposed to be released on parole was released. We are sorry about that. This will never take away the pain that all of you are feeling here. We know as the community you are feeling great pain, as you must. Because the problem of gender-based violence, and where violence is also perpetrated against children, should come to an end and this should never happen again,” President Ramaphosa said.
The community reportedly responded with the cries, “Death penalty! Death penalty!”
Some residents expressed their anger with posters pleading for justice. “Why are criminals taking over the streets and killing our poor children?” members of the community asked.
According to reports, President Ramaphosa tried to explain that the right to life was ensured in the constitution, but that he was taking steps to strengthen the criminal justice system.
“We are feeling so much pain that we want those who rape and kill women and children to be given the ultimate sentence of the death penalty. I know that’s what you want because you are feeling the pain,” said President Ramaphosa.
He continued to say, “This is the call we made to our courts. Once a man is found guilty of rape or femicide or murder of children there must be a refusal of bail.”