Conscription and illegal immigration at the core of Patriotic Alliance defence and security manifesto

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Gayton McKenzie’s Patriotic Alliance (PA) takes a tough stance on illegal immigration, the death penalty, and conscription in its party manifesto.

The 14 000 plus word manifesto is outspoken when it comes to military service, noting “youths who do not find themselves in education or employment after school shall have to join the military or enlist in equivalent avenues of public service”. In the military, under a PA-led government, young people will learn discipline as well as “a range of skills that can either set them up for lifelong careers in the military or make them more marketable for jobs in society”.

McKenzie’s party believes an expanded military will secure the country’s borders and “prevent the constant seepage of deported illegal migrants merely re-entering the country. Military servicemen and women will also support Home Affairs in the mammoth task of mass deportation.”

On peacekeeping, the PA notes: “The days of relying on the UN to do the hard work in Africa must end and a well-trained, energetic and youthful military will go a long way towards creating more stability and the growth of democracy on the continent”.

“A stable Africa will help to grow the continental economy, along with South Africa’s economy by extension, and a disciplined military force will secure regional sovereignty and reduce Africa’s dependence on (or inability to resist) outside influence. The positive dividend from military service should be able to more than fund its cost,” is how the PA sees the SANDF in the future.

Illegal immigration

The PA takes a zero tolerance stance on illegal immigration, and wants to ensure illegal migrants are sent home and not allowed to return. The party, if elected, says it will build a wall to protect its citizens against illegal migration.

“South Africa faces a migration crisis and illegal migrants must be mass deported. Human rights should not mean that citizenship rights and responsibilities are completely ignored. A person within South Africa’s borders who did not cross the border legally is a criminal, and needs to be treated as such. As a consequence, South Africa will need mass detention camps to which illegal foreigners must be taken for processing and deportation,” the manifesto reads.

“We will perform audits on any foreigner who claims to have papers. Businesses who hire illegal foreigners will be severely punished for this opportunism. As long as illegal foreigners are accorded the rights of citizenship as guaranteed by the Constitution, we have effectively betrayed our Constitution,” the manifesto continues.

To stop illegal immigrants sapping local resources, from social grants to healthcare, “anyone who has been deported and is found to have entered the country illegally again will face lengthy prison sentences.”

The PA accuses illegal immigrants of being involved in activities such as illegal mining, “which is hollowing out our towns and cities from under our feet, and zama zamas are now as well armed as a private army, funded by our mineral wealth, which is meant to be owned by us as citizens and which should be funding our own sovereign wealth fund. Illegal migrants are stealing our children’s future, literally.”

Tough on crime

A similarly harsh approach is taken towards crime, and the PA wants to reintroduce the death penalty “in severe cases of murder where guilt has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt. This action needs to serve as a ‘line in the sand’ against a society that has lost the war against violent crime.”

“This policy also sends the much-needed message that South Africa will finally be tough on crime of all kinds, once and for all, but particularly on violent crime,” the PA’s manifesto says.

The party’s tough on crime stance aims to emulate what President Nayib Bukele from El Salvador has done in his country. “We shall arrest all the gang members ruling the streets and the mafia ruling the state enterprises. We will put them in jail first and then bring charges later. We know this will not sit well with many liberals, but as people who have suffered personally from violence and who represent people who suffer with violence and death every day of their lives, this is the policy we are going to pursue.”

Other proposals include improving the professionalism of the police at all levels, bringing back dedicated units of specialised officers and detectives (such as the establishment and bolstering of a missing children’s unit, missing persons unit, sexual offences unit etc.), investing in forensic equipment, electronically managing police dockets, and reforming the prison system, including reintroducing conjugal visits to amongst others fight male rape in prisons.

“Prisoners must be put to work as part of repaying their debt to society and as a way of building a savings purse that can be used to assist them upon their release,” the PA believes.