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The civil rights campaigner is calling for a ban on bail for the perpetrators of violence against children – after Action Society attended five “harrowing” cases last week involving the rapes and murders of children – and “in the last 24 hours, we’ve got five violent cases of which two out of the five involve children”. Cameron reveals how many victims were killed by the same perpetrator that was previously charged with hurting them. He speaks of how criminals are granted many second chances, while “victims never get a second chance” , and says: “I honestly believe we’ve got monsters that literally hunt children and we need to treat them in the same way.” – Chris Steyn
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Relevant timestamps from the interview
- 00:10 – Introductions
- 00:25 – Ian Cameron on why the ban on bail for perpetrators is necessary
- 01:24 – The five cases he attended in one week
- 02:22 – The Chevonne Rusch case
- 03:23 – Some of the cases Action Society attended last week
- 04:00 – The Bokgabo Poo case
- 05:16 – The Lihle Zenzile case
- 08:42 – What would it take to get the justice system to introduce a directive that bail should be refused for attackers of children
- 10:26 – What explanations, if any, do the suspects and perpetrators give for raping and mutilating children
- 12:05 – Conclusions
Highlights from the interview
Action Society’s Ian Cameron says evil monsters are hunting children in South Africa.
Cameron’s speaks to BizNews after his Action Society attended five “harrowing” cases last week involving the rapes and murders of children – and “in the last 24 hours, we’ve got five violent cases of which two out of the five involve children.
“I honestly think we just have evil people. We have got many evil people and we need to treat them as such. This idea that some people are, all people have some good in them…I honestly believe we’ve got monsters that literally hunt children and we need to treat them in the same way.”
Cameron is now calling for a ban on bail for perpetrators of violence against children. “What concerns me is the major increase in severe violence against children, and even teenagers, and the fact that many of the perpetrators that commit the very violent offences were already out on bail for other violent offences that they committed,” Cameron says.
“…we actually have a few cases at the moment ranging from very little children, I’m talking from two years old that were murdered, up until 16, 17, even 18 years old. And the majority of them were eventually either killed or hurt far worse by the same perpetrator that was previously charged for hurting them, but he was out on bail.
“ It just bothers me that criminals have…It’s almost as though their rights are taken into consideration far more than innocent people. And it’s important to have a fair justice system. But at the moment, it often feels like the justice system favours the criminal over innocent people. The criminal gets three, four, five, six, seven, eight second chances, but the victim never gets a second chance.”
Asked how a ban on bail for perpetrators of violence against children can be brought about, Cameron says: “I must be honest, I don’t see it happening very easily. I think we would really have to follow several routes. One would be a parliamentary one where we need to pressure them in that way. I don’t think it will be difficult to get the support.
“The challenge that we have is that the implementation of these things is often done wrongly. And because of the high levels of corruption, you might have a chance that someone that’s actually innocent is denied bail and they don’t have a chance for fair treatment, which makes it incredibly difficult. It’s like people calling for the death sentence. Now, whether you agree with it or not, you want a government that can’t even fill a pothole to decide who they’re gonna kill. How do we know that they’re killing the right person? It’s not quite that simple. That being said, that is the direction we need to move in.
“Children in South Africa at a higher and higher rate are not safe. And we have to find a way to keep these perpetrators behind bars.”
Cameron shares the gruesome details of several cases where Action Society is involved in fighting for justice – and relates the challenges they face to make that happen.
“I think these cases actually summarise the crisis that we find ourselves in – and that civil society plays such a crucial role in pressuring the State to actually do their jobs.
“Just from last week, I think what bothered me was the fact that it’s not something that you can just point to the police. So there’s a shortage of detectives, forensic backlogs, and then the delay in courtroom processes, you know, constant postponements…
“And again, it’s this whole thing, and I spoke to you before about the idea of an integrated strategy where social development kind of doing their own thing, not being held accountable, the police are doing one thing and the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) is doing another and all of them are kind of working against each other instead of together.”
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