Durban hijacking: Thousands sign petition for harsher penalties after Sadia's murder

01 June 2018 - 08:00 By Nivashni Nair
Shailendra Sukhraj and his wife Lorraine weep during the funeral service of their nine-year-old daughter Sadia at the Christian Revival Centre in Chatsworth on May 29 2018.
Shailendra Sukhraj and his wife Lorraine weep during the funeral service of their nine-year-old daughter Sadia at the Christian Revival Centre in Chatsworth on May 29 2018.
Image: Jackie Clausen

The death of nine-year-old Sadia Sukhraj in a botched hijacking in KwaZulu-Natal has seen the birth of a petition to bring back the death penalty.

It has attracted more than 19,000 signatures since it was launched on Monday.

The petition was later updated to include Kelly Chetty who was shot dead in a botched hijacking in Avoca, in KwaZulu-Natal. It does not only focus on the death penalty; it also asks the government to look into Section 51 of South Africa's Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1997 regarding stricter sentences for convicted criminals. 

“Nineteen-thousand is an impressive number of signatures for a petition, and statistics and other similar petitions seem to suggest that, if a nationwide consensus was taken, the majority of South Africans would call for the reinstatement of the death penalty,” said University of KwaZulu-Natal School of Law senior lecturer Suhayfa Bhamjee.

*This article has been amended to reflect that the petition does not only call for the death penalty, it also advocates for stricter sentences for convicted criminals.

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