It is no secret that Pollex is a supporter of the “death sentence” being reinstated in the legal system of the RSA, in respect of certain specified, convicted offenders. In this regard, refer to “An open letter to our President” published in Pollex in Servamus: April 2014. Furthermore, Pollex is also a supporter of “whipping” (Afrikaans: “lyfstraf”) being reinstated as a form of punishment imposed by our courts in respect of certain, specified, male, convicted offenders - adults as well as children.
Both the “death sentence” and “whipping” used to be forms of punishment which our courts were authorised to impose, subject to certain specified conditions. Looking back at the (current) Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) in its original form (before any amendments were introduced), it appears that (the since repealed) section 277 provided that the sentence of death could be passed by a superior court (nowadays a High Court) only upon a person convicted of murder, treason, kidnapping, child-stealing*, rape and robbery or attempted robbery or housebreaking or attempted housebreaking with intent to commit an offence, if the court concerned found aggravating circumstances* to have been present. Add to this that, where a specific law also provided for the sentence of death.
Section 292 of the CPA (also since repealed), provided that a court, when authorised to sentence a person to a whipping, such whipping had to be imposed by means of a cane (Afrikaans: “rottang”) only and not more than seven strokes. A whipping could, in terms of subsection (1) of (since repealed) section 292 of the CPA, be imposed by a court IN ADDITION TO OR IN SUBSTITUTION of any other punishment to which such person may otherwise be sentenced.