The new ConCourt judgment legalising private use of cannabis should lead to a decrease in dagga arrests, but power still rests with the police. To date, cannabis arrests are one of the biggest SAPS arrest categories. Complete decriminalisation would free up R3.5-billion in police resources. This could be put to good use in combating the worrying 7 % increase in the murder rate, contained in the latest SAPS crime stats.
Investigative Journalism - Justice / Law
WJP's Ruth Hopkins reveals how several cases involving party members point to the political silencing of their often poor opponents.
If dagga is decriminalised, R3.5-billion could be invested annually in serious crimes. It may take some of the pressure off the clogged-up court system, an overburdened police force, severely overcrowded prisons and see more successful prosecutions for murders such as that of Karabo Mokoena.
A soil collection project is commemorating the forgotten victims of lynching and helping to tell their stories.
Ruth examines America’s repugnant history of lynchings and a project to remember its victims. A timely reminder of where we must refuse to return to.
Ruth Hopkins reflects on her recent visit to the United States of America, where processes of truth telling reminded her of its history of slavery and lynching. She learned that it can actually be destructive not to acknowledge the pains, horrors and atrocities of the past.
Anyone taking the time to mine the turgid annual reports of SA’s bloated bureaucracy will occasionally be rewarded with a gem – a valuable nugget of information which will make the mostly tedious task worthwhile.
The deadly margin of error in death penalty cases should come as a salutary warning to those wanting to reinstate capital punishment in South Africa.
Consider the case of Anthony Ray Hinton from Alabama, US.
Gregory Bright, who spent 27 years in Angola for a crime he did not commit, agrees. “There were always guys who came back injured from the rodeo,” he says. “One guy had severe kidney problems after he was attacked by one of the bulls. He later died from complications. No one talks about that.”