The criminalisation of gang activity in South Africa: reassessing the rationale


Criminal gang activity presents a substantial threat to the safety and security of, in particular, the inhabitants of the Cape Flats in Cape Town. The State has intervened legislatively through the form of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998. This is somewhat of a ‘super-criminalisation’ given that similar common law and statutory measures already existed prior to the promulgation of the Act. What is the rationale for the criminalisation of gang activity in South Africa? Furthermore, if there is sufficient rationale for this super-criminalisation, is there sufficient basis to argue for the additional responsibility of gang leaders, which is currently left uncovered by the Act?

Author Biography

Delano van der Linde, North-West University

Senior Lecturer and Subject Group Head: Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at the Faculty of Law, North-West University.

Research articles