Jacob Zuma says SA’s laws are too lenient on hardened criminals

Zuma said while he understands that the country’s post-apartheid justice system was devised to ensure fairness, this weakened the pursuit of justice.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 19 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Former president Jacob Zuma criticised the country’s laws for being too lenient on hardened criminals, labelling legislation as “soft”.

Zuma was among the panelists at the ANC's virtual umrabulo session on Sunday.

He said while he understands that the country’s post-apartheid justice system was devised to ensure fairness unlike in the past, this has weakened the pursuit of justice.

The theme for the session was social cohesion and the loosely defined “national question”.

According to the former president, the country’s justice system hinders social cohesion.

“Today, if I commit a crime no matter how serious it is, because we’re moving away from extreme oppressive laws, we went to the other extreme. I have a right, even if I kill a person.”

He said another issue impeding social cohesion is the ANC government’s failure to deal with structural challenges in the South African society.

These include the unfair distribution of land as well as racial and economic inequality.

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