• March 2019
    No 67 (2019)

    Jade Liebenberg, Lorraine du Toit-Prinsloo, Gert Saayman and Vanessa Steenkamp address the admissibility of these kinds of tests in their article entitled Drugged driving in South Africa: An urgent need for review and reform. The authors highlight that while it is common practice in South Africa to test drivers for alcohol levels, testing for additional substances (like drugs of abuse) is rarely performed. Current legislation only prohibits driving under the influence of alcohol and a ‘drug having a “narcotic” effect’ which excludes several impairing psychoactive drugs which are not classified as narcotic substances. The authors discuss issues and/or limitations that affect the detection of drugged driving and propose revisions of the National Road Traffic Act to include a comprehensive statutory definition and detailed provisions for drug testing to deter impaired driving.

    The policing of protest has been a regular feature on the pages of South African Crime Quarterly since our December 2017 special edition. Heidi Brooks adds to this conversation by providing an account of an often-silent constituency: the police who are tasked with the dual obligation of ensuring the safety and security of communities on the one hand, and protecting democratic rights and freedoms on the other. Brooks examines protest from the perspective of rank and file officers in the South African Police Service (SAPS) and shows not only the importance of recognising bottom-up perspectives in constructing appropriate responses to protest, but the complexity of SAPS members’ own identities as both officers and citizens. She shows how, for many officers, protest seems to straddle their police and private lives, conferring on them a duty to enforce law and order, while experiencing the shortcomings of democracy themselves.

    Crystal Mokoena and Emma Lubaale discuss extradition where states do not have extradition treaties with one another. State sovereignty dictates that states exercise authority over all persons and things within their territories, including people who are suspected of committing or charged with crimes in foreign states. International law generally imposes no obligation to surrender individuals suspected of or charged with committing crimes in foreign states and as such, states are increasingly ratifying international treaties mandating cooperation to ensure that individuals responsible for certain categories of crimes are brought to justice. Mokoena and Lubaale discuss whether, in cases where there are no treaties to provide for extradition, states can rely on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) to extradite individuals for corruption-related crimes.

    Irvin Kinnes reviews Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard’s book Surviving gangs, violence and racism in Cape Town: Ghetto Chameleons published by Abingdon: Routledge Advances in Ethnography in 2017. Kinnes concludes that Ghetto Chameleons provides its reader with a new way of seeing and understanding the current gang discourse by showing how young men in gangs on the Cape Flats do, how they associate, and how they use mobility to move and change their cultural repertoires in gang and suburban spaces. A deep dive longitudinal ethnography undertaken with 47 young men, the book shows us that gangsters are much more than just gangsters: not homogeneous, mobile, and with perspectives about themselves that they use flexibly, depending on their environment. Kinnes concludes that the book is required reading for any scholar of crime and mobility, and for those interested in exploring the links between gangs, cultural repertoires and mobility.

  • prison keys, imprisonment, decolonisation December 2018
    No 66 (2018)

    This special edition, guest edited by Nontsasa Nako from the University of Johannesburg, addresses the issue of decolonizing prisons by confronting both the day-to-day function of the prison and also wider impact of imprisonment on various communities in South Africa.

    Thato Masiangoako examines the frames of rationalisation employed by migrants and student and community activists, who were victims of police violence due to their perceived activist or migrant status. Her article helps us understand how enduring cultural, social and institutional histories shape popular perceptions and may account for ‘the enduring nature of prison’, despite their experiences of unfair detention.

    Palesa Madi and Lubabalo Mabhenxa show how the insistence on verification of address in bail hearings makes it difficult for the poor and marginalised to be released on bail in South Africa, where it is not uncommon for people to lack fixed homes. The authors conclude that with the remand detainee population so high in South African prisons, the human rights instruments should be utilised to bring South Africa in line with international human rights law.

    Untalimile Crystal Mokoena and Emma Charlene Lubaale argue that through bail, or verification of address as a condition for granting bail, remand conditions, as they stand, create unequal access to justice. These authors argue that bail affordability is a paramount consideration if we want to ensure that there is equality before the law and that the dignity of the indigent accused is protected.

    Anthony Kaziboni’s piece on the Lindela Reparation Centre uncovers the crude manipulation of social problems and abuses at the Centre. Drawing on Giorgio Agamben’s concept of ‘bare life’ described in Homo sacer: sovereign power and bare life, Kaziboni follows media reports on Lindela over a period of 18 years to identify what he terms ‘xenophobic biopower’, wherein immigrants detained at the centre are presented as negatives in South Africa. He argues that when the detained immigrants are constituted as exceptional, and when their rights are suspended due to ‘illegality’, all manner of violence against them is permissible.

    Judge Jody Kollapen suggests in ‘On the Record’, that decolonisation is a broad concept, and the high rate of crime places undue focus on crime and punishment rather than on the various factors that produce social malaise. The papers in this volume help in expanding our knowledge and might ultimately guide us towards the decolonisation of institutions such as prisons.

    This issue was made possible by funding from the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences Working Group Fund.

  • September 2018
    No 65 (2018)

    David Bruce analyses statements from the injured and arrested strikers from the Scene 2 massacre at Marikana, as well as the circumstances in which they were taken, to interrogate the assertion that strikers were shot by police while surrendering or injured. Bruce argues that, taken as a whole, the statements are a reliable source that suggest that some of the strikers at Scene 2 where indeed shot while surrendering.

    Robert Doya Nanima extends the conversation on the latest version of the proposed Traditional Courts Bill, analyzing the admission of evidence obtained through human rights violations. Nanima finds that the Bill does not properly provide a satisfactory mechanism to evaluate evidence in criminal cases before it is admitted, and therefore doesn’t safeguard against over-zealous prosecution by the State and ensure human rights protections for accused persons.

    Mahlongonolo Thobane and Johan Prinsloo discuss “bank associated robberies” – robberies (or attempted robberies) of cash that are committed against a bank client while en route to or from a bank or ATM. A relatively unknown phenomenon in public discourse on crime in South Africa, these robberies are of particular concern to the banking industry and criminal justice practitioners due to their violent, traumatic nature and dramatic increase that put the general public at risk. Thobane and Prinsloo argue that these crimes increase perceptions about the increasing levels, and violent nature of crime in South Africa which place a huge burden on the criminal justice system.

    Nicole van Zyl considers whether evidence of sexual grooming influences the decisions of South African courts when passing sentence on offenders who have been found guilty of sexual assault or rape of children. The article argues that evidence of grooming should play a more important role in sentencing decisions, providing context in terms of the nature and impact of the crime that the court is asked to consider.

    Elrena van der Spuy reviews Anneliese Burgess’s book, Heist! South Africa’s Cash-In-Transit  Epidemic Uncovered. She concludes that the book is ‘riveting and troubling reading’ that brings a ‘disciplined inquiry to a complex issue of organised criminality’that sheds light on the connections between the illicit and licit, and the interplay of structure and agency that enable this kind of criminality.

    On the Record presents a conversation between Nicolette Naylor (Director, Ford Foundation for Southern Africa) and Sibongile Ndashe (Executive Director: The Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa) on the role of the law in responding to sexual harassment in the workplace.

     

  • June 2018
    No 64 (2018)

    Each of the articles in the volume touch on questions of governance: by addressing how we use and assess evidence-based research aimed at improving policing practice; looking at the role and performance of the Western Cape Police Ombudsman; examining how and where protests focused on weak or absent governance take place; and unpacking the latest version of the Traditional Courts Bill, which is before Parliament (after two previous failed attempts) and which aims to regulate the customary justice environment.

    Gareth Newham and Brian Rappert’s article, Policing for impact: Is South Africa ready for evidence-based policing? reflects on the ways in which research aimed at improving operations has realised its potential to shape policing in practice. They document a shift towards ‘greater engagement and collaboration with partners external to the police on research and data’, and argues for dedicated research partnerships that could ‘better enrich SAPS exposure to new knowledge and interventions’.

     Lukas Muntingh reflects on the office of the Western Cape Police Ombudsman, and looks at its powers and performance since its inception. Muntingh finds that the body faces a number of challenges, including a ‘tiny’ budget, small staff, limited capacity to investigate, and low levels of confidence in its independence and effectiveness in addressing the poor policing and police-community relations that are evident in the province.

    Lizette Lancaster presents data from the Institute for Security Studies’ Protest and Public Violence Monitor (PPVM) in her article, Unpacking discontent: Where and why protest happens in South Africa. The data shows that, contrary to prevailing public narratives, protests in this period have most often been related to industrial strike action, rather than service delivery concerns, and only just over half (55%) have been classified as violent. Taken as a whole, the PPVM data shows how wide-ranging protest grievances are, and how geographically widespread they are.

    Fatima Osman’s article, Third time a charm? The Traditional Courts Bill 2017, looks at the latest version of the Bill and asks whether it sufficiently addresses the fundamental objections to previous versions, and the public outcry and sustained pressure from civil society organisations that ultimately scuppered its passage. Osman finds that these concerns – largely centred around the gender composition of the courts and women’s participation in dispute resolution processes, the centralisation of power in traditional leaders, and the professionalisation of courts – have been attended to in some measure in the new Bill, but that critical issues warrant further attention.

    Bill Dixon reviews two books for this issue of SACQ: Andrew Faull’s ethnography about the working lives and professional identities of the South African Police Service members entitled Police work and identity: a South African ethnography; and Sindiso Mnisi Weeks’s in-depth exploration of what she terms ‘vernacular dispute management forums’ in Msinga in rural KwaZulu-Natal, called Access to justice and human security: cultural contradictions in rural South Africa.

    ‘On the Record’ discusseS the in-the-field realities doing of doing a randomised household survey with Guy Lamb and Ncedo Mngqibisa from the Safety and Violence Initiative at the University of Cape Town.

     

  • March 2018
    No 63 (2018)

    The articles in the March 2018 edition of SACQ illustrate or address change, justice, representation and response in criminal justice in South Africa and beyond. The articles by Guy Lamb and Ntemi Nimilwa Kilekamajenga ask how systems and agencies learn from periods of crisis. Lamb focuses on massacres perpetrated by the police in South Africa, and asks what impact these have had on changing the police organization. Kilekamajenga addresses the crisis of overburden and overcrowding in the Tanzanian criminal justice and prison systems, and asks whether this provides a moment to consider whether restorative interventions offer promise in resolving the problem.

    Peter Alexander, Carin Runciman, Trevor Ngwane, Boikanyo Moloto, Kgothatso Mokgele and Nicole van Staden draw our attention to the frequency and turmoil of community protests between 2005 and 2017, and challenge us to reconsider the ways in which protest is framed as violent, disruptive and disorderly, and how we measure and represent it in the media and elsewhere.

    Jameelah Omar provides a case note on the Social Justice Coalition’s constitutional challenge of provisions of the Regulation of Gatherings Act, which criminalizes the failure to provide notice of a gathering of 15 or more protesters. This case note discusses this significant judgment that declared these provisions of section 12(1)(a) of the Act unconstitutional.

    Two scholar/activists,  Nick Simpson and Vivienne Mentor-Lalu, discuss the Water Crisis and its impact on questions of vulnerability, risk and security in “On the Record”, illustrating our society’s challenges increasingly touch questions about safety and security, and of how the nature of our responses (both in terms of who is able to respond effectively, and what that response looks like) visibilise questions about who benefits and who is left behind.

  • December 2017
    No 62 (2017)

    This issue of South African Crime Quarterly is a special issue focusing on protest. It is guest edited by Kelley Moult of the Centre for Law and Society at the University of Cape Town.

    Articles in this edition illustrate the ways that academics, activists, lawyers and practitioners are engaging with questions of protest and response. Two articles address the law on protest. Chamberlain and Snyman survey the protest landscape through the lens of the public interest legal sector, and question, through the experience of Right2Protest, the ways in which court processes are being used as tools with which to quash protest activities. Omar uses the Social Justice Coalition’s challenge to the Regulation of Gatherings Act (RGA) to highlight the controversies around the Act’s regulatory provisions.

    Two articles focus on protest related to the right to basic education. Ally argues that the current legal framework on protest fails to protect and enable children’s right to protest, and uses the case of Mlungwana and Others v State and Others to show how the criminalisation of peaceful protest not only violates the state’s responsibility but also fails to take into account the best interests of children. Focusing on the South African Schools Act, Skelton and Nsibirwa show tensions between the right to protest and to basic education. Problematizing the implementation if provisions that create criminal accountability in the context of protest (including parents’ decisions to keep children out of school), they argue that holding protesters accountable under criminal law may be desirable, but that the proposed amendments to the Schools Act do not resolve these practical tensions.

    Mukumba and Abdullah use a series of Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) requests to municipalities to test how easily accessible information is on where and how to submit a notice of gathering, as required by the RGA. They show that information is scarce, and compliance uneven across the country, finding that this amounts to active resistance by government to enabling the right to protest.

    Two research articles look at public opinion on protest. Roberts et al., examine views of police performance in dealing with protests, finding that this is negative on the whole, and that roughly a third of South Africans feel that the police are never justified in using force in these situations. Bohler-Muller et al., focus on patterns of support for different forms of protest action across various socio-demographic and geographic variables. Surprisingly, the authors find no considerable differences across age, gender, race and class in the public’s support for protest, although people are more likely to support protest if they think it will be successful.

    The case note by Abdool Karim and Kruyer analyses Rhodes University v Student Representative Council of Rhodes University, and Bond reviews Jane Duncan’s The rise of the securocrats and Protest nation.

     

  • September
    No 61 (2017)

    SACQ 61 covers a range of topics, from police investigations of commercial crimes to restorative justice and illegal mining. In our first of five research articles, Trevor Budhram and Nicolaas Geldenhuys use SAPS performance data to suggest that police are losing the battle against commercial crime. With a focus on detection rates, they convincingly argue that the SAPS’ performance is unjustifiably weak, and that this is hidden by the way it captures performance data.

    Next, John Kole asks whether private security officers (PSO) could better support the SAPS’ crime prevention mandate if they had more legal authority. He explores this through data from interviews and a survey carried out with senior private security and SAPS managers, as well as with operational officers, and is surprised at what he finds.

    Emma Lubaale compares judgements in South African and New Zealand criminal court cases, asking whether South African courts should better balance custodial and restorative justice sentences. She suggests that South African courts incorrectly perceive restorative justice sentences as weak .

    In his article, Sean Larner takes us inside the Rebuilding and Life Skills Training Centre (Realistic) in Gugulethu, Cape Town, and into the lives of some of the young ex-offenders who have been through its programmes. Using in-depth interviews, he explores the obstacles faced by young ex-offenders and the impact of Realistic’s reintegration programme.

    Have you heard of a Design Basis Threat (DBT)? If not, Cyrus Cyril Arwui, Victor Tshivhase and Rudolph Nchodu article offers insight into the formulation of DBT statements for nuclear facilities. DBT’s are recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a methodology to secure radioactive sites. Readers may be surprised by the types of data used and assumptions made in the formulation of a DBT, including a reliance on reported crime numbers (not rates) in nearby towns.

    Finally, in a commentary and analysis piece, Mbekezeli Mkhize reviews the challenges and opportunities posed by illegal artisanal (small scale) mining in South Africa.

  • June 2017
    No 60 (2017)

    This issue of South African Crime Quarterly is a special issue dedicated to organised environmental crimes. It is guest edited by Annette Hübschle of the Environmental Futures Project, Institute for Safety Governance and Criminology at the University of Cape Town, and funded by the Global Initiative for Transnational Organised Crime.

     Once considered peripheral matter, wildlife crimes have moved up global security and policy agendas. The UN General Assembly, for example, adopted two resolutions to tackle wildlife crimes in 2015 and 2016, while South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have declared wildlife trafficking a priority crime issue. Nevertheless, a plethora of protective and regulatory measures has failed to disrupt the consumer markets and criminal networks that allow these trades to flourish. Several contributions to this issue suggest that for such measures to have an impact, they must be implemented and shared by a range of networked stakeholders. One contribution suggests that a ‘whole of society’ approach is best suited to the task, while others suggest there are lessons to be learned from the global response to Somlai piracy, and from INTERPOL’s National Environmental Security Taskforce (NEST) model.

    An empirical contribution offers insight into the lives of anti-poaching community scouts working in southern Mozambique, adjacent to South Africa’s Kruger park. It describes the social stigma and exclusion that some scouts encounter in their communities and suggests that such programmes will only be effective when wildlife economies produce clear benefits for local communities.

    Two commentary pieces challenge conventional thinking on wildlife crime. One argues that the crime-related loss of natural resources, such as rhino, should be considered a form of cultural victimization against people, while another argues that rangers should ‘shoot-to-kill’ poachers in protected parks. In the ‘On the Record’ feature, the head of the South African National Parks’ Special Projects (anti-poaching) team, Major General Johan Jooste (Ret.), reflects on the challenges of law-enforcement in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, including whether ‘shoot-to-kill’ has any merit.

  • March 2017
    No 59 (2017)

    Research articles explore adherence to, and implementation of, duties placed on police by the 1998 Domestic Violence Act; the discretion of the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to refuse parole to those serving life sentences; and why organised crime figures choose to live and work in some areas rather than others.

    A case note examines the treatment of an accused person who, due to mental illness, is unfit to stand trial but is still required by law to be detained, and a review essay considers the potential of the ‘violence observatory’ model for South Africa.

    The issue ends with an On the Record interview with South African Police Service (SAPS) Deputy-National Commissioner, Gary Kruser, who explains the organisation’s new management intervention capacity and strategy.

  • December 2016
    No 58 (2016)

    In the three months since the publication of South African Crime Quarterly (SACQ) 57, South Africa’s tertiary education, prosecutorial and political landscapes have been shaken, perhaps irrecoverably. Although we cannot predict how it will all turn out, change is certainly afoot. So too with SACQ.

    This issue of SACQ marks the end of a path-breaking era for the journal. We offer our heartfelt thanks and a fond farewell to our long-time editor and champion, Chandré Gould. Over the past decade, Chandré has worked tirelessly to grow the quality and reach of the journal, ensuring the publication of valuable research on crime and justice-related matters pertinent to South Africa. She has ensured that SACQ has been produced in a format that is both elegant and easily accessible and digestible to a broad readership. In the process, she has facilitated the commitment of over 200 articles, reviews, commentaries and interviews to South Africa’s research record, and helped foster a new generation of researchers. 

  • September 2016
    No 57 (2016)

    This issue covers some of South Africa’s hottest topics, as well as its broader structural challenges. Mary de Haas analyses political killings in KwaZulu-Natal in the run up to the August 2016 municipal elections. In On the Record, National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams, provides unique insight into the challenges of heading the prosecution service in a fraught political climate.

    Exploring the broader criminal justice arena, Ehmke-Engelbrecht et al. question the validity of blood alcohol samples used in the prosecution of alleged drunk drivers. In two legal contributions, Jameelah Omar argues that poor people suffer discrimination in court when it comes to bail; Marelize Schoeman assesses current procedural mechanisms to assess the criminal capacity of children in conflict with the law. Jean Steyn and Sazelo Mkhize ask whether police officers’ attitudes change with years of service, and Elrena van der Spuy reviews Don Pinnock’s book Gang Town.

  • June 2016
    No 56 (2016)

    This is the first issue in a new partnership between the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) as co-custodians of the South African Crime Quarterly (SACQ). We believe that the UCT Centre of Criminology’s commitment to advancing policy-relevant research and analysis on public safety, criminal justice and evolving forms of crime in South Africa, and the global South more broadly, complements the SACQ’s objective of contributing balance and objectivity to the discourse on human security in Africa. Both institutions are committed to ensuring that SACQ remains an accessible source of up-to-date policy-relevant research and analysis.

    In this issue we revisit some of the key intersections of daily crime and violence affecting some of South Africa’s most vulnerable groups. We begin with an article by Mogstad, Dryding and Fiorotto exploring the challenges and limitations of policing domestic violence in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Carolyn Agboola then reports on interviews with women who had been released from correctional facilities, documenting their claims of poor health care, sanitation, food, access to education and overcrowding. An article by Lancaster and Kamman explores the hypothesis that risk of murder is associated with particular demographic and contextual characteristics, and Jamil Mujuzi’c contribution ponders changes to Zimbabwe’s Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act in relation to private prosecutions. We end with an ‘On the Record’ interview with the Social Justice Coalition’s General Secretary, Phumeza Mlungwana, about crime and policing in Khayelitsha.

  • March 2016
    No 55 (2016)

    The March 2016 edition of South African Crime Quarterly is a special edition dedicated to exploring the role of social cohesion and collective efficacy in addressing violence in cities in the global south.

    Social cohesion is a broad concept but generally refers to the factors that ‘hold a society together’. Collective efficacy looks at how these ties can prevent violence when they are translated into collective action at the neighbourhood level.

    Rapid urbanisation in the developing world is thought to exacerbate and concentrate the linkages between poverty, inequality and violence in rapidly expanding cities. It has been hypothesised that weak social cohesion increases the risk that violence will occur, while strong social cohesion can act as a protective factor preventing violence. Thus far, however, there has been little empirical research on social cohesion and its relationship to violence in the global south.

    This edition will include articles that present research findings on these issues. It locates itself within a growing body of intellectual and policy engagement on safety in rapidly growing cities in the global south. The deadline for abstracts has passed. The deadline for articles to be considered for publication is 15 November 2015.

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