It is important to be aware of the criminal procedure act in South Africa because of the high crime rate in the country.
Although there are many types of crime occurring all over the world, South Africa is well known for having one of the highest crime rates for many types of unlawful behaviour from petty theft to violent assaults and multiple murders.
Why is there so much crime in South Africa?
There has been much speculation on why crime is so high in the country, and one of the most common theories is that it is due to our socio-economic situation. Because of a legacy of separation and degradation, the huge majority of South Africa’s people live in abject poverty. Sprawling shanty towns or locations cover many areas in the country and are home to many, many poor people who are unable to cover any of the basic living expenses that most of us take for granted. One of the reasons for the cruel and terrible poverty is the high unemployment rate in the country. There are countless people, who even though they might have some form of education, cannot find jobs. Without employment of some kind, it is unlikely that these people can better their situations and climb out of the whole of poverty and suffering.
Disease grows easily in communities where many people must live crowded closely together without proper sewerage and drainage systems, without access to good, reliable medical advice and care, without nourishing food, clean water and adequate shelter. These people freeze in winter, over heat in summer and live with constant hunger. The frustration and desperation born in these circumstances leads many into a life of crime. These people often find themselves with little other option than to steal in order to feed themselves.
Others take the view that it is a lack of education that plays the major role in leading people to crime. Without a solid education system in South Africa, many people fall through the cracks and do not receive the qualifications and life lessons that they need to get by.
Should criminals be excused from their crimes because of the above circumstances?
Of course, whether people are desperate, hungry and frustrated or not, they still have a choice. They can choose to do wrong, commit crimes and steal or they can choose to find another, more honest, way. The above circumstances might explain why some people are driven to steal to feed themselves, but it does not explain why so many commit heinous violent crimes like rape, assault, kidnapping and murder. There is just no excuse for these crimes no matter what the circumstances or frustrations of the individual concerned. Because criminals always had the choice of whether to do right or wrong, a solid justice system should be in place to make sure that they are punished for their wrong doings. It is also necessary to take criminals off the streets to keep the public safe from them.
The criminal procedure act of South Africa
Like other countries, South Africa has a criminal procedure act that outlines a protocol that must be followed when dealing with criminals. There are rules in place to ensure that victims and potential victims are treated with the respect that they deserve and that they are allowed to look for justice. There are also rules in place, however, to protect the accused to make sure that the right people are punished and innocent people do not get treated unjustly. There are other rules yet that ensure guilty criminals are allowed their rights and that their basic human rights are respected.
Because crime is so high in South Africa, it is essential that the criminal procedure act of South Africa is upheld and followed to the letter at all times. It would be a huge tragedy of a guilty criminal is allowed to slip through the cracks and ends up back on the streets because protocol was not followed.