The South African legal system is failing law-abiding citizens

TLU SA

The South African legal system is failing  law-abiding citizens
The South African legal system is failing law-abiding citizens

The South African legal system – probably one of the last state institutions to instil some confidence – is now failing the law-abiding citizens.

The arrest of several farmers countrywide, after trying to protect themselves against lawbreakers, has been brought to the attention of TLU SA.

“The legal process is losing its way if law-abiding citizens are now under fire,” said Mr Henry Geldenhuys, TLU SA President.

“It seems as if criminals are now geared, to immediately lodge a complaint with the police, either for the pointing a weapon, racism, attempted murder, assault, intimidation or even murder against the farmer without any evidence. In most cases, the farmer is arrested, and the law-abiding citizen finds himself in the dock. More so, nothing happens to the person who first broke the law.”

According to Mr Geldenhuys, the legal system is now being overturned, to protect the criminal and not look after the interests of the law-abiding citizens.

“If your farm is entered illegally, you must be able to protect yourself! But now you apparently have to choose between getting shot yourself or going to jail…”

More than one such case has recently been brought to the attention of TLU SA. According to Mr Geldenhuys, the state is also doing everything in its power to oppose bail.

“The independence and credibility of the legal system is seriously questioned. Where a farmer acted on his own land to protect his interests from intruders, he now becomes the criminal. The prosecutors and SAPS are in the process of handing out jail time and sentencing an innocent party, even before there was any trial. It is common knowledge that a farmer with a farm owns real estate and consequently is not a flight risk. Regardless of the latter, the state and SAPS treat farmers as if they have no real estate.

“It seems that double standards are maintained in the application of the law. Circumstances have deteriorated to such an extent that a law-abiding farmer who acts against criminals finds himself very quickly in the dock. After all, it was not the farmer who went looking for trouble! It is the criminal who enters the farmer’s land illegally. The police and legal system then unilaterally believe the offender’s complaints.

“A farmer appears to be guilty regardless of the circumstances before he is tried. Does the emotion of the community now apply more to the administration of justice than fairness and justice and the principle that everyone is equal before the law?”

Mr Geldenhuys further says that the legal system is supposed to capture the element of crime and it should consider who was the initiator of the situation which then subsequently makes the farmer a criminal.

“If the criminals had not entered the land illegally in the first place, there would have been no incident. The question that exists today is what about the farmers’ rights to protect their legal property.”

Geldenhuys also referred to the legal costs which are an extra and extremely unnecessary expense for the farmer.

TLU SA will soon write to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Mr Ronald Lamola to bring the seriousness of the situation to his urgent attention.

Read the original article in Afrikaans on TLU SA

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