Ramaphosa answered questions on Wednesday. One of the questions came up from a caller was regarding the death penalty in South Africa.
Ramaphosa says he wants to answer about the death penalty, although he has not heard the context in which it was asked.
He says he assumes the caller wants the death penalty brought back.
Ramaphosa says there is a Bill of Rights in the Constitution that includes the right to life.
He says the Constitutional Court found that the right to life is contrary to the death penalty and that is why the death penalty was dropped.
We are not the only country to have done this and more and more countries are getting rid of the death penalty out of respect for the right to life.
The argument here is that we are a constitutional democracy and committed to the Constitution that guarantees the law.
I understand, when horrific crimes are committed especially against our women and children, that the death penalty is called for.
We understand why people have these deep feelings about such crimes.
However, we are bound by our Constitution.
There are other ways we can punish perpetrators of such crimes.
For example, if someone rapes or kills a woman or child, we say that the person should receive life imprisonment.
If you murder a woman or child, a life sentence should mean life.
The perpetrator must never get out of jail again because he or she violated someone else’s basic right. It must be a prison sentence of hard labor.