We need a complicit police! Political policing then and now
Keywords:Public order policing, South Africa, police brutality, violence
South Africa is witnessing a build-up of cases of public order policing gone wrong, in fact deadly wrong. Even the police are willing to admit that something is amiss. Yet the police response is a short-sighted one, which places the responsibility for the eruption of violence squarely with the people protesting, and underestimates its own role in aggravating the situation. I argue here that if the police wish to break the patterns of their long history of protecting a government and its partisan interests, and do not want to be misunderstood in their intention to serve the people, then simply increasing the capacity of public order policing will not help. On the contrary, we might end up (again) with a permanent occupying army. Instead the police have to become more explicitly partisan towards the citizens they serve, and help deliver the message inherent in each protest.
Copyright (c) 2014 Author and Institute for Security Studies
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
SACQ is licenced under a creative commons licence (CC BY) that allows others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long a they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. They may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
Copyright for articles published is vested equally between the author/s, the Institute for Security Studies and the Centre of Criminology (UCT).