Speaking on SABC News, Contralesa president Chief Lameck Mokoena said the death penalty should be reinstated to stop the killing of women and children.
He claimed many perpetrators of the crimes are former convicts.
“The killing of women and children has got out of hand. What makes it worse is that many of the perpetrators are former convicts who are out on parole,” said Mokoena.
“Unless government comes up with innovative ideas on how to deal with this, our country is becoming a banana republic. We call on government to call for a referendum to test the will of the people as to whether the death penalty should be brought back.”
Mokoena also told CapeTalk South Africans should be allowed to vote in a referendum on the death penalty.
“Our women and children are being killed like flies. What have they done to deserve this? If someone cannot act on this, it means the people must decide what must happen to stop the carnage,” he said.
According to Mokoena, past cases have shown criminals are not afraid of going to prison and the death penalty could be a stronger deterrent.
He said criminals were “enjoying life” in prisons at the taxpayer’s expense.
“People will be scared knowing that if I do this, I might die,” said Mokoena.
In 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the death penalty was not compatible with the introduction of the constitution and the Bill of Rights.
“I am aware the calls for the death penalty often come in light of rising GBV but we are bound by our constitution.
“Instead, there are other means of meting out punishment, such as handing down a life sentence with hard labour,” he said.