n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Less law, more order : editorial

Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Seemingly, during the month of the FIFA Soccer World Cup in South Africa, the South African Police Service (force) (SAPS) prevented major instances of violence against foreign tourists and local residents. The question that begs to be asked is: Is it likely for a month, let alone a year, that SAPS, without outside assistance, can prevent any major violence in the townships, schools, and streets of South Africa? The evidence shows a resounding 'No'. In his foreword to the landmark World Health Organization Report on Violence and Health in 2002 (just one of numerous prestigious reports that shows how to prevent and reduce violent crime), Nelson Mandela reiterates that violence can be prevented. However, South Africa is not reducing violence because it is not utilising best practices. Instead, the true extent of violence that continues to damage and corrode the lives of ordinary citizens and communities in post apartheid South Africa, is denied by official crime statistics and met (at times) with an ineffective government response of rather expensive 'band aids' instead of the implementation and monitoring of effective prevention and reduction strategies.

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