ASSESSING THE FUTURE OF RURAL POLICING: The impact of closing the Commandos
Implicit in President Mbeki’s controversial announcement in February 2003 that the Commandos are to be phased out is a statement that the SAPS is now strong enough to police rural South Africa on its own, and that the uncomfortable, transitional role the military has been playing in this area can come to an end. The key question posed in a recent ISS study was whether rural policing would be strengthened or weakened by the decision. The research suggests that closing the Commandos will weaken rural policing but strengthen the policing of contact crimes in rural towns.
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