n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Selected issues pertaining to democratic constitutionalism in South Africa : the justice, crime prevention and security paradox

Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The debate regarding "democratic constitutionalism" has come a long way. In fact, it grew from the earliest discussions in the justice, crime prevention and security field of study. As the intellectual debate accelerates there is a realisation that "democratic constitutionalism" ultimately intersects closely with the holistic domain of democracy. Inevitably, this raises fundamental questions about the very existence of democracy in the daily activities of the South African public services, and more specifically the justice, crime prevention and security services. The newly designed clustering (merging) of justice, crime prevention and security services (the so-called "JCPS" departments) is mainly aimed at reducing the levels of crime and enhancing stability and security. Whereas the previous political system was characterised by massive violations of human rights (especially by the crime prevention and security services), the new political order poses a totally new dispensation that is based on values and principles of "democratic constitutionalism." It is against this background that the article discusses issues of "democratic constitutionalism" as it unfolds in the South African public service context. It presents democracy in terms of constitutional accountability, democracy in the context of political responsibility and democracy related to the concept of managerial responsiveness. Governmental activities are placed under the magnifying glass and its significance for democratic principles is highlighted. In broad, there is an outline of how the Government is performing in terms of the reaching of these democratic ideals.

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