n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Combating witchcraft-related crime in the Eastern Cape : some recommendations for holistic law enforcement intervention strategies

Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



In this article, an attempt is made to address the phenomenon of witchcraft-related crime by making certain recommendations that law enforcement structures, particularly the South African Police Service (SAPS), could consider in their efforts to deal with this type of crime. The focus is on witchcraft-related crime in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, and is based on the author's own research in an area often referred to as Mpondoland, situated in the north-eastern part of the Eastern Cape. Fieldwork among the Xhosa-speaking communities of Mpondoland revealed that witchcraft-related crime is part of the everyday reality of most, if not all, communities in the area. It was also revealed that members of the SAPS have mixed perceptions regarding their effectiveness in addressing witchcraft-related crime. In general, it appears that violence and other crimes which are associated with the belief in witchcraft, presented the police with various challenges that, in turn, hampered their efforts to address these crimes. This article highlights some of the author's observations and recommendations regarding this specific crime problem.

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