n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Explaining police action towards gays : a radical criminology approach

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The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996, states that the police as servants of the community should uphold the Bill of Rights and in so doing protect all citizens (Nel & Bezuidenhout 1997: Preface). In this regard the former Minister of Safety and Security (Mufamadi 1995, Foreword) states as follows:

The new South African Police Service must and shall take pride in our Constitution. The human rights chapter of the Constitution will remain close to the heart of the police official, for we believe that the key to its effectiveness and success lies with the police and the courts of the land. In many senses, the police will be the custodians of the Constitution:
They will have to enforce its provisions, even if it is the state officials who threaten to violate it.
They will protect the exercise of human rights by citizens even if the South African Police Service itself might not agree with the causes espoused by that group of citizens.
On the basis of the above it is evident that police officers should enforce laws and human rights which are not necessarily favoured by the majority in society. In doing so democratic rights and the freedom of all individuals will be protected.


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