UDM President says: Zuma can't be taken seriously on the death penalty (7 March 2008)

Jacob Zuma shouldn't be taken seriously on the death penalty. Unfortunately he plays to the emotions of the nation, when he knows that he didn't caucus this position with his party, nor did the topic feature in the National General Council, Polokwane National Conference or any other policy-making forum of the ANC. One must therefore conclude that he is guilty of bringing his party into disrepute by contradicting established policy.

If he is serious, and he has the support of the ANC NEC, why does he need to wait for the next election, why not do it now and flex this newfound power that he and his faction believe they wield?

The UDM once more calls for a National Convention, as we did at the opening of Parliament last year and this year again, and as was endorsed by President Mbeki. Unfortunately it seems the Speaker is dragging her feet on this issue. At the time we suggested that some of the major topics that could be debated at such a Convention would include: the economy, poverty, issues of social cohesion and racism, as well as fighting crime. This year we suggested that the Human Rights Commission should be tasked to prepare for such a National Convention. For instance, President Mbeki's proposal this year to revamp the criminal justice system could be debated at such a National Convention where the nation can express their views and thus reduce the confusion and uncertainty caused by statements from people like Zuma.