Death penalty, social justice top ACC Agenda

ACC secretary-general Nkosekhaya Lala, who tops the candidate list for the party in the Western Cape, said crime and joblessness are two critical issues that need to be dealt with urgently. Picture: Leon Lestrade/Independent Newspapers

ACC secretary-general Nkosekhaya Lala, who tops the candidate list for the party in the Western Cape, said crime and joblessness are two critical issues that need to be dealt with urgently. Picture: Leon Lestrade/Independent Newspapers

Published May 17, 2024


The issue of crime and unemployment calls for real attention and is central in the Alliance of Citizens for Change (ACC) manifesto.

“There is no time for sweet talking because of people dying through being killed violently. Every 20 minutes a person is dying. There is a need for a policy rethink as well as a drastic policy intervention that is not business as usual,” ACC secretary-general Nkosekhaya Lala said in an interview with the “Cape Times” this week.

“As ACC we noted that a number of murders are done by people who are repeat offenders. We are going to reintroduce the death penalty,” Lala said.

“The four most dangerous policing areas are in the Western Cape. Crime and joblessness are two critical issues that need to be dealt with, with haste. Our children and women can’t walk freely on the street.”

Lala said the ACC stood for social justice.

“Social justice says a State must intervene where it has to intervene,” he said.

The ten-month old party was on the ground campaigning in communities that were hungry for change.

“We are very concerned with the number of murders taking place. That is why we talk of the death penalty for murderers and rapists. Murderers will have no place to hide. The death penalty will be a deterrent. Rapists must get life imprisonment as a punishment,” Lala said.

He said his party had done research in Botswana and some states in the US that implemented the death penalty.

“There is law and order in those places.

“The ACC will bring law and order to this country, which is something that has been forgotten,” Lala added.

Lala tops the candidate list for the ACC in the Western Cape. He confirmed that the ACC has not decided on its premier candidate for the province.

“I am number one on the Western Cape candidates list and that does not necessarily mean I am the premier candidate. We are still to announce this after the May 29 elections,” he said.

Lala is one of the founding leaders of the ACC, formed 10 months ago, with former DA member and Western Cape legislature speaker Masizole Mnqasela.

He describes himself as an activist who has been involved in several NGO and community-based initiatives, including leading the Pastors Against Church Closure.

Lala, who holds a Masters degree from the Stellenbosch University, is a former employee in Parliament and the Western Cape provincial legislature.

Recalling his entry into mainstream politics, Lala said he had started a political formation, but after interactions with Mnqasela they decided to “start something fresh together”.

“We had understood that there was a move by church leaders to start something that will be citizens-based after Pastors Against Church Closure.

“It was felt Pastors Against Church Closure would not have meaning to a number of people and that we needed to start a movement which is citizens-based,” he said.

He said a political person with experience, like Mnqasela, was considered to work on the realisation of the ACC’s objectives The party has footprints mainly in the Western Cape but also in other parts of the country. It has fielded candidates for Parliament and legislatures in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng.

Lala said they advocate free education from the first grade of basic education schooling up to the first degree.

“Parents must not struggle to get their children education,” he said. “Free education can be implemented, and as ACC we will represent a caring government that has social justice,” he added, referring to the commission that recommended that free higher education was possible.

Lala said the ACC wants free sanitary pads provided for girls in the same manner that condoms are freely available.

He also said there was a need to reduce the ministerial posts in the current bloated Cabinet.

“We need 10 Cabinet ministers and to combine a lot of the ministries.

“There is no need for each portfolio to have a separate minister, as that comes at a cost to the fiscus,” he said.

The ACC sees no reason why the police, correctional and justice departments should not fall under one minister.

This also applies to finance and economic development portfolios.

“We will combine portfolios to function together in complementary ways.

“We want to reduce the bloated Cabinet and in that way we will make savings.”

Lala said they wanted South Africans to be considered first when there were job opportunities.

“If there are 10 jobs, seven must go to South Africans and three to legal foreigners. Currently there are particular sectors where you rarely find South Africans, especially in the hospitality sector and at fuel stations, where there are foreigners. We say South Africans should come first.”

Lala was hopeful that the party would perform well in the elections.

“We have been well received by the voters. They are happy with our message, including the reintroduction of the death penalty, as South Africa is a country in a war zone.”

He said the ACC was on the ground campaigning everywhere in the country.

“We are giving the political parties in Parliament a serious headache. They don’t understand why a 10-month-old party is everywhere.”

Lala said people were hungry for change and the time was ripe for it. “We will surprise a lot of political parties, but the people will not be surprised.

“We are going to take a number of seats to make sure that we are taken seriously,” he said.

Cape Times