IFP rebukes Mbeki on crime

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The IFP yesterday called on the government to pass a law that would force judges to hand down a sentence within two months of finding an accused guilty.

Speaking at a Human Rights Day protest march against crime in Pietermaritzburg, the party's national chairman, Zanele Magwaza, also called on President Thabo Mbeki to "stop your denialist mentality" on crime.

Magwaza said the judicial system was in a shambles with huge case backlogs and long delays in trials because of inefficient judicial officers and incompetent prosecutors.

She said it was a violation of human rights for a prisoner to spend more than six months awaiting trial.

The government must launch a massive prison-building programme to alleviate overcrowding in jails, she said.

Thousands of IFP supporters marched through Pietermaritzburg to voice their concern about crime.

The marchers were led by the national leadership of the IFP, including Magwaza, general secretary Musa Zondi and national organiser Albert Mncwango.

They delivered a memorandum of their grievances to local chief magistrate Sbaba Ngcobo.