YOU STRIKE A GATHERING, YOU STRIKE A ROCK: Current debates in the policing of public order in South Africa

  • Sean Tait African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum.
  • Monique Marks University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Keywords: protest, public order policing, police, SAPS, South Africa, violence, police brutality, human rights


This article aims to reopen the debate about public order policing in South Africa. Rising levels of violent localised protest and increased brutality in policing such events, as well as recent draft policy guidelines on restructuring public order policing by the Ministry of Police, necessitates informed debate. Protest events, in particular violent and localised protests, are likely to increase in the years to come; it is thus an appropriate time to engage in a serious reconsideration of the best approaches to policing these events. This article offers recommendations for a model of public order policing in South Africa that is more effective and respectful of human rights.

Author Biography

Monique Marks, University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Department of Community Development
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