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- Volume 19, Issue 2, 2006
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Volume 19, Issue 2, 2006
Volumes & issues
Volume 19, Issue 2, 2006
Author J. PrinslooSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 1 –17 (2006)More Less
Crime impacts significantly on the lives of members of society, either directly or indirectly. Since it is an emotional issue, crime makes members of society susceptible to ideological manipulation and rationalisation. However, certain members of society appear to be disproportionately affected by their fear of crime in relation to their apparent chances of becoming victims of crime. The focus of this article is to analyse the impact of recent victimisation on victims' perceptions of vulnerability and their subsequent concern about and fear of crime. This was done by means of a quantitative analysis of the results and contextualisation of criminal victimisation described below which emerged from the data collected as part of the International Crime Victim Survey (ICVS) in which South Africa participated or the fourth time in 2004.
Author O. PragalSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 18 –26 (2006)More Less
The author assesses the strength and weaknesses of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Practices Act 12 of 2004 (PCCAA) against the background of his LLM-Dissertation on this topic and also compares it to the German Law. He focuses on defining the factual phenomenon of corruption as a principle-agent-conflict, more precisely as an illegal exchange between the agent and a third person, and evaluates how the PCCAA manages to tackle this problem. The author mainly criticises that the scope of the offences of the PCCAA is partially too broad and thus, inter alia, also includes mere immoral conduct, because it fails to focus on the aforementioned definition of corruption. The author generally approves the strategy of "unbundling" of the PCCAA, but emphasizes that the 'catch-all'-offence as stipulated by section 3 and the reinstatement of the common-law offence of bribery interferes with this strategy. While the author holds most parts of the Act to be rather extensive and even too vague, he stresses that it otherwise shows a serious loophole, because it fails to criminalise the so-called 'feeding' during the contacting-phase, i.e. gratification without any counter-performance expected. Furthermore, he criticises the presumption regarding the mens rea as perhaps formally constitutional, but in fact as an infringement of the in dubio pro reo principle and the accused's right to remain silent without having to fear negative consequences. From the view of the author, the duty to report corruption is a very useful tool, but runs the risk of being is proportional without providing due protection for whistleblowers. The author fully approves the register for tender defaulters, the competence to investigate "unexplained wealth" and the establishment of extra-territorial jurisdiction, but fears that the offence of omitting to give any information or explanation as stipulated by section 23(7) (b) infringes on the freedom from self-incrimination and the right to remain silent. In general, the author judges the PCCAA to be a decisive and effective, but also partially excessive measure against corruption and he suggests that a more restrictive Act with a more clear-cut scope would receive greater general acceptance and credibility while it would be much easier to apply.
Achieving good governance and overcoming the practices of profligacy and corruption inherited from the apartheid government and its economy are the two most important challenges facing South Africa. Corruption has burgeoned in both the public and private sector since the transition and is the factor which most preoccupies those who express concerns about South Africa's future (Camarer 1997: 31).
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 27 –41 (2006)More Less
The escalation of violence and especially violent crime has become an alarming reality worldwide and especially in South Africa. This holds extreme negative consequences for both the victims and their families, friends and the society at large. As a result of the impact of violence, mental health professionals are often requested to make predictions concerning the potential violent behaviour of a person. However, this makes heavy demands on the assessor with the result that wrong predictions are not uncommon. Such errors have serious implications for everyone involved. Everything possible should therefore be done to eliminate such shortcomings. In this first of two review articles an overview of the existing research on the prediction of violence will be given.
Author S. JoubertSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 42 –52 (2006)More Less
Murder initiated by one intimate partner and executed by hirelings is a manifestation of violent crime that has received little attention from criminologists. The sensational details of hired killings have stirred media and public interest whilst its regular occurrence has brought it to the attention of the writer as a topic for research. As a research topic two major research problems have been identified:
- Limited scientific literature on specifically hired killings exist (spousal killings on a one-to-one basis are adequately researched and findings in this regard have been published) which necessitate the gathering of knowledge from various sources.
- Hired killings lack a biographical profile as they occur within any age, race, gender and socio-economic group, compelling a more situational approach to the studying of this phenomenon.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 53 –73 (2006)More Less
A quantitative study was undertaken amongst educators in the Free State and the Eastern Cape to ascertain whether Educator-targeted Bullying (ETB) is a fallacy given credence by the popular media or if it is a part of the daily lives of (some) educators. A questionnaire, adapted from the one used by Pervin and Turner (1998), was compiled to use as a data-gathering instrument. A convenient sample was drawn from educators who were engaged in further studies at the University of the Free State. A total of 600 questionnaires were distributed. Of these, 579 were returned and 544 could be used. Data was analysed using the Data Analysis Tool of Microsoft Excel and Intercooled Stata software packages. The educators who participated in the study overwhelmingly indicated that they suffer at the hands of the learners. Although the frequency of incidents varies, 76, 7% of the respondents indicated that they are exposed to some or other form of ETB. The investigation into the profile of the most likely victims of ETB revealed the following:Male educators appear to be more exposed to all types of ETB than female educators; educators with 21 or more years' of experience seem to be more exposed to most types of ETB than educators with less experience; respondents of 51 years of age or older seem to be least exposed to ETB, while the respondents in the age group 41 to 50 seem to be the most exposed; respondents on REQV level 13 seem to be more exposed to ETB than those on REQV 14; educators are bullied less in primary and secondary schools, than in combined, intermediate and senior secondary schools. When respondents were requested to indicate who they perceive to be the most likely victims of ETB, they responded in the following way: 34, 0% indicated that they consider educators new to the school as likely victims of ETB; 39, 9% consider inexperienced educators targets of ETB; and 64, 1% expressed the opinion that all educators are likely to be victims of ETB. Against the background of the foregoing results it is recommended that educators' trade unions should fight for their members' rights to teach in a safe environment. It is furthermore suggested that ETB should form an integral feature of a whole school anti-bullying policy.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 74 –87 (2006)More Less
The article is based on a multidisciplinary project called THUSANO (a Tswana word meaning to help one another). This study was undertaken by the Subject Groups Social Work and Kinderkinetics of the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). Fifty families were involved in this project and were evaluated with regard to many different aspects, such as child development, family violence, HIV / AIDS and crime. This article reports on the perceptions of crime among these seven communities in the Northern Cape who are all part of the Kuruman district. Data was gained by way of an in-depth personal interview with the caregiver of each of these families. These communities are characterised by the absence of the fathers / husbands during the week, therefore it was the mothers / caregivers that were interviewed. It was found that these communities were not extremely vulnerable to crime, which led the researchers to reflect on the reasons for this fact. Despite weaknesses such as poverty, alcohol misuse and women abuse over weekends, the communities had a natural support system in place to help one another. A general lack of commitment to fight crime was evident in these communities and can possibly be contributed to fear of victimisation. Participants felt strongly about imprisonment as the only measure to curb people form committing crime. The re-instatement of the death penalty was repeatedly mentioned during the course of the research endeavour.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 88 –104 (2006)More Less
In order to gain a better understanding of the position of women in the field of policing, research was conducted concerning job satisfaction of female police officers in the South African Police Service (SAPS). Although some studies have been done on female police officers worldwide, none has been done in the rural areas of the Vaalrand, Gauteng, which is where the current research took place. Only women took part in this survey. The 26 individual one-on-one interviews were conducted. The twenty-six female police officers had been in the SAPS for at least ten years and were chosen because of their rank as officers. A specific timeframe was chosen to ensure that the female police officers had experienced the democratisation of the police service in South Africa. The investigation took the form of an empirical qualitative study. Research procedures as stipulated for a descriptive study were followed, as the main objective of the research was to describe the circumstances of women in the predominantly male environment of policing. An interview schedule was drawn up, containing semi-structured in-depth questions regarding the women's motivation for joining the police service and job-related issues. Qualitative methods were applied not only for data collection but also for data analysis.
Author F.J. BurgerSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 105 –118 (2006)More Less
The lack of clarity and understanding, in general, of what crime combating or crime fighting entails, lead to unrealistic expectations of what the police are capable of and, consequently, to unfair blaming of the police when crime levels are high. In this article it will be argued that blaming of the police is largely due to misconceptions about the meaning and implications of concepts such as crime combating, policing and crime prevention. These arguments are supported by an analysis of policy development for the police and for policing, as well as the strategic and operational approaches to crime combating in South Africa. The relationship between crime and national security in South Africa is also briefly discussed, as well as the need for a concomitant national security policy and national security strategy.
This article questions the conceptual and terminological correctness of section 205(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, which prescribes the responsibilities ("objects") of the South African Police Service. The absence of terminological and conceptual clarity in the Constitution, which is the starting point for determining the police's role in the combating of crime, clearly exacerbates the existing confusion and supports public perceptions that the police must "prevent" crime. No other South African legislation provides any further guidance on this matter. The situation is further complicated by the discrepancy between statute and policy. This adds to the difficulties and uncertainty about the overall location of responsibilities, especially with regard to government departments. It is for this purpose that a defining model for crime combating is proposed, depicting the place of both crime prevention and policing within the broader framework of crime combating or crime fighting. Finally, it is argued that crime combating should form part of an overarching national security policy and a national security strategy which should be coordinated by a national coordinating structure and not by the police or even the criminal justice system.
Author J.J. NeserSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 119 –141 (2006)More Less
The data presented in this article originated from a school safety research project which was aimed at the victim in school violence. The study was exploratory and the situation of the victim was investigated with the following general question as guideline: "What are the main attributes of victims of peer aggression in the sample?" The quantitative-descriptive survey design was selected for this study and the researcher had to rely on data forthcoming from a self-report survey (questionnaire). The survey results revealed that a substantial number of victims of peer aggression displayed negative feelings about their experience of school life and that peer victimisation was related to poor interpersonal relationships with other learners. With respect to individual characteristics, the self-reported victims apparently tended to have a lower self-esteem; were prone to depression; were predisposed to relatively high levels of anxiety and exercised poor self-restraint. The findings emphasised the fact that a lack of participation in religious activities, the apparent absence of strong family bonds and a lack of sharing mutual activities, with caregivers not being available after school and parents unwilling to render support with schoolwork were factors that often related to peer victimisation.
Author T.S. PetrusSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 142 –151 (2006)More Less
Early anthropological studies of witchcraft have long held a dominant position as part of the anthropological study of religion. Theories on witchcraft beliefs and practices have emerged from the dominant paradigms in the anthropology of religion, ranging from evolutionary perspectives to structuralist perspectives. While these theories had and continue to have significance for mainstream anthropological studies, the emerging phenomenon of witchcraft-related crime in contemporary African societies poses challenges to the validity of such approaches. Earlier theories of witchcraft were based on studies of relatively homogeneous communities that were assumed to be static and unchanging. However, despite the political, social and economic changes that have occurred in these communities due to the influence of modernisation and globalisation, old witchcraft beliefs and practices have not only persisted, but they have adapted and manifested themselves in a new form, namely witchcraft-related crime. Since witchcraft has changed along with the communities in which it exists, old approaches to the study of witchcraft need to be modified to suit the postcolonial context. This paper will suggest a way forward in achieving this goal, as new approaches will become instrumental in efforts to apply cultural knowledge in the context of law enforcement in order to address this unique manifestation of crime.
Author A.E. Van der HovenSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 152 –171 (2006)More Less
In this article the place and function of the criminologist as an expert witness in Criminal Courts are scrutinised and critically evaluated. Firstly, the terms forensic expert, criminology, forensic criminology and criminalistics are clarified. Subsequently, in order to determine the place of the criminologist as an expert witness in court, the scope and expertise of related social scientists are depicted. It is also pointed out that, in order to gain professional status in court, criminologists should register with a professional board, which should be established to regulate standards, develop an ethical code and determine the fees for the various services rendered by them. This is followed by an explanation of the admissibility of expert opinion in court. The major part of the article is devoted to the requirements with which criminological evaluation reports should comply. Criticism has been levelled at the way criminologists compile their pre-sentence reports. For this very reason, the various components of the report are discussed in detail. Particular attention is paid to victim impact statements as part of the evaluation report. Furthermore, preparation for the court and presenting the pre-sentence report in court are discussed. Finally, criticism levelled at criminologists as expert witnesses in court is debated.