Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa's reported suggestion that prisoners should be made to do hard labour is both unconstitutional and populist, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Monday.
Ramaphosa is reported to have told mourners at the funeral of Precious Ramabulana that “government would work to change the justice system to ensure that people convicted of crimes against women and children remain behind bars for life and under the harshest conditions.”
He was quoted as adding: “They should not be in jail and enjoy life there, they should be subjected to hard labour – the harshest of labour," and to have called for the state having "active record" of all offenders found guilty of crimes against women and children.
Ramabulana was found in her residence near the Capricorn TVET college in Limpopo last week after being stabbed 52 times
DA justice spokeswoman Glynnis Breytenbach said the president's remarks were cause for concern and of a similar nature to those by Justice Minister Ronald Lamola last week. He suggested that Cabinet should discuss a return of the death penalty.