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By Enkosi Selane

Digital Journalist

Watch out for the outrageous: Election promises that have raised eyebrows

These outrageous promises may garner attention, but they often neglect the complexities of the issues at hand.

South African political parties have been pulling out all the stops to woo voters ahead of the elections.

While some promises may be feasible and appealing, others are downright outrageous and raise eyebrows.

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These promises may garner attention, but they often neglect the complexities of the issues at hand.

Exile for teenage parents – Jacob Zuma, MK party

In a baffling move, former President Jacob Zuma promised to send teenage parents to Robben Island for “rehabilitation.”

Zuma has long been criticized for his controversial views on laws he wishes he could introduce like retracting LGBTQ+rights, land expropriation without compensation and now the reawakened sending of teens to Robben Island.

The contentious stance was recently revisited when the former president reiterated it at the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party rally in February this year.

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Zuma’s proposal came after the shock statistic that 90,000 underaged girls in the country were reported to have fallen pregnant last year.

“According to the law, a child should not give birth to a child, that’s not life, it’s a disease. We will end it,” he said while giving his keynote address.

This move was met with widespread criticism, with many labelling it as a form of punishment rather than support. Many argued that sending teenage parents to Robben Island, raises concerns about punishment and neglects the need for comprehensive sex education and social support.

According to Mail & Guardian Aids Accountability International co-founder and researcher Phillipa Tucker said “sending young mothers ‘far away’ would be a violation of their human rights. Several sections of the Constitution would not allow this.”

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Cape Independence

The Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG) has been vocal about its desire for the Western Cape to seperate from South Africa.

While this promise may appeal to some, it’s a highly contentious issue that raises concerns about fragmentation and the potential for violence.

Many South Africans against Cape independence, argued that the concept which ignores the complex historical and socio-economic ties between the Western Cape and the rest of South Africa and could lead to further division and instability.

Several political parties including ActionSA, the Democratic Alliance (DA), and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have vehemently opposed the concept of an independent Western Cape.

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EFF leader Julius Malema said Cape Independence would not happen and asserted that the party is opposed to imperialism and colonialism.

“These people who want Western Cape to become an Independent State must know that it will not happen, he addressed the party’s members in the province.

Furthermore, speaking to Newzroom Africa, ActionSA Chairperson Michael Beaumont took offence to the idea of Cape Independence and said it perpetuates segregation.

“It is constitutionally offensive and historically offensive in South Africa to say that the only solution for the people of the Western Cape is to secede from RSA.

“We are here to unite South Africans, the idea that the only thing that can be done to help the Western Cape is to divide South Africa is offensive to us,” said Beaumont.

This response came after ActionSA rejected the Referendum party’s attempt to join the Multi-Party Charter, for its association with the Cape Independence Movement.

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Death Penalty

Several smaller parties, including the African Christian Democratic Party and the African Transformation Movement, have promised to reinstate the death penalty.

This move is highly controversial, with many arguing it’s a violation of human rights and does little to address the root causes of crime.

In 2019, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema spoke against reintroducing the death penalty. Malema argued that capital punishment would be severely harmful to the black population.

“We don’t support the death penalty. Anyone who suggests the death penalty must give scientific evidence of where the death penalty has succeeded in reducing crime,” he added.

Reinstating the death penalty violates human rights and does little to address the root causes of crime, instead perpetuating a cycle of violence he argued.

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