'Monsters of society must be punished'

Jeff Radebe says 'monsters' who harm women and children must get the harshest of sentences.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe speaks during a government media briefing on 14 September 2012. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said on Wednesday institutional frameworks will be strengthened to deal with 'monsters in society'.

The minister, who was referring to perpetrators who commit crimes against women and children, made these remarks at the opening of new offices for the Master of the High Court.

Radebe said, "We must rise up as South Africans and say no to these heinous crimes. Law agencies must give the harshest of sentences to the monsters that harass our communities."

He has also asked communities to assist police by reporting any suspicious conduct.

The Master of the High Court offices officially bears the name of South Africa's first post-apartheid Minister of Justice, Dullah Omar.

Omar served in government from 1994 until his death in 2004.

Radebe said Omar is deserving of the honour as he was instrumental in the fight against apartheid.

He said naming the offices after Omar was fundamental.

"His humbleness, his contribution to the liberation of our country in building the foundation for our constitutional democracy has left an indelible mark."