Inquiries into commissions of inquiry into police

  • Elrena van der Spuy University of Cape Town


Commissions of inquiry into police have a long and chequered history - both internationally and locally. In this special edition, our focus falls on the two most recent commissions of inquiry into police in South Africa - parochially known as the Marikana and Khayelitsha commissions. The deliberations of the two commissions have attracted much attention. Media coverage has at times opted for the sensational. However, a steady stream of more thoughtful commentaries, crafted by investigative journalists and policing experts, has also seen the light. The archival footprints of both commissions have been enormous. Thousands of pages of information on a wide range of administrative, operational and policy matters of relevance to police and policing have been produced. The online storage of expert testimonies, witness statements, and transcriptions of cross-examinations has further enhanced access to both primary and secondary material. Amid this abundance of data it would seem that those interested in the trials and tribulations of policing the post-colony can do no better than to capitalise on the opportunity for critical reflection and substantive analysis. In this special edition of the South African Crime Quarterly we take up the challenge for reflection.
  • Abstract 159
  • PDF 79
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