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- Volume 27, Issue 2, 2014
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Volume 27, Issue 2, 2014
Volumes & issues
Volume 27, Issue 2, 2014
Author Cecili DoorewaardSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 1 –13 (2014)More Less
Much has been researched and written about the reasons, nature and the extent of unreported crime. The unwillingness of the public to report crime stems from various reason and motives. However, the dark figure of crime still remains a pivotal point amongst citizens and criminal experts alike. This article explores what impact unreported crime might hold for the criminal justice system. Both members of the public and criminal justice system experts participated in the study on which the article is based. Their reasons, perceptions and insights into unreported crime was examined and a conclusion drawn as to whether and to what extent unreported crime affects the criminal justice system.
Author Theodore PetrusSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 14 –24 (2014)More Less
The impetus for this article was inspired by a letter to the Editor in one of the local newspapers in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. In the letter the author calls for the need for a counterinsurgency and, by implication, a paramilitary approach by law enforcement, as a mechanism for addressing the continuing street gang violence in the Northern Areas of the city of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. It is widely perceived that at present law enforcement agencies have failed to adequately quell gang-related crimes in both the Western and Eastern Cape provinces, two regions where gang violence has become paramount. This article seeks to address the question of whether a paramilitary approach by law enforcement would be effective. The argument is that such an approach would in effect achieve the opposite of the intended outcome. This argument is based on a critique of the emerging paramilitary policing culture within the South African Police Service (SAPS), as well as the possible consequences of such an approach should it be employed against street gangs.
Author Mary NelSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 25 –42 (2014)More Less
In this article, the author seeks to use the concept of legitimacy to explain the phenomenon of collective violence against suspected witches in South Africa. While victims of spiritual attacks perceive witchcraft as exceptionally harmful, the state does not view the right to be free from occult violence as an interest that is worthy of legal protection. This dissonance between state and community beliefs regarding witchcraft's potential harmfulness may precipitate and perpetuate vigilantism, inducing victims to take the law into their own hands to protect themselves from spiritual attack in the face of state apathy. Anti-witch violence is in effect a demonstration of an erosion of state legitimacy, and is aimed at filling the crime-fighting gap left by a virtual absence of state protection against witches. Vigilantes portray themselves to their communities as an alternative provider of 'criminal justice' by brutally eliminating the witch as a common enemy or scapegoat. Strengthening state legitimacy in this context is crucial, and various approaches for doing so through addressing witchcraft evils are considered. It is emphasised that any potential strategies for reconciling incongruent state-citizen 'law-enforcement' beliefs, so as to minimise the likelihood of witchcraft-related vigilantism, should not occur at the cost of the state's primary role as human rights guarantor.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 43 –55 (2014)More Less
This research article investigates the role of substance abuse related family disorders in filicide. This explorative study examined five filicide cases that made headlines in the South African media over the past 20 years. The findings showed that there is indeed reason to be concerned about the relationship between substance abuse and related family disorders, economic deprivation and filicide. The study suggests that economic deprivation may have an indirect causal effect on filicide in South Africa. The literature showed that substance abuse and especially alcohol played an underlying factor in the five cases under review. Other risk factors associated with filicide include unemployment which led to financial difficulties, extra-marital affairs, family violence, verbal and emotional abuse, mental problems such as depression and misuse of medication, family isolation and general familial dysfunction. Further research may look at more case studies and a longitudinal perspective on filicide. Such research should focus on how the presence of social support and medical services affect the prevalence of these incidents. Simultaneously, there is also a need to determine whether individuals who engage in filicide had access to social support services prior to the incident. These types of studies will shed light on this rare phenomenon and provide more concrete analyses so that social agencies can work to create policies that may successfully prevent its occurrence.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 56 –68 (2014)More Less
Safety and security in schools is not only a South African, but a global challenge. This article examines the management of safety and security in KwaZulu-Natal. Learners and educators are assaulted and killed on school premises in the province despite the presence of a plethora of educational legislation. A qualitative approach was used. Learners, principals and educators who participated in this study were selected by means of purposive sampling. Data were collected during one-on-one and focus group interviews. Findings indicated that some schools in KwaZulu-Natal are not safe. There are hurdles to the establishment of safety and security in some schools, characterised by the negligence of school principals in the implementation of policies. Administration of corporal punishment is evident in a number of schools and evidence of weapons and drugs being brought onto school premises was also found. Results also indicated a lack of strong partnerships between law enforcement agencies and parents in the provision of safety and security in schools. From the study it emerged that the management of safety and security in schools does not happen in a structured way. As part of the recommendations, an action plan for safer schools, based on the Safer school model of Van Jaarsveld, Minnaar and Morrison (2012: 132) is presented to assist principals, school governing bodies and other partners. The model specifically gives guidelines to manage safety and security in KwaZulu-Natal schools.
A quantitative understanding of gender differentiated delinquent trends among school going adolescents in Chatsworth, DurbanSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 69 –81 (2014)More Less
According to the World Health Organisation countries in transition have witnessed a dramatic rise in delinquency rates. Given that juvenile offending is a pervasive social problem and many theories about its aetiology have been advanced it is not unusual for researchers to understand delinquent behaviour over periods of time. Against this backdrop this study seeks to understand gendered patterns of offending or delinquent behaviour among seven hundred and fifty (750) school going adolescents in a historically Indian township in Chatsworth, KwaZulu-Natal. Using a non-probability, random, sampling method respondents were chosen from two secondary schools in Chatsworth. Results from the study showed significant correlations between gender (male and female) and modes of punishment; norm violations; regulation violations; and malicious damage to property. For instance gender and norm violations results indicated that sleeping out of home without parental permission is not gendered. Both males and females slept out of home without parental permission; gender and regulation violations such as driving a motor vehicle without a driver's licence indicated that respondents violate regulations regardless of gender and gender and regulation violations such as entering a bar or bottle store being under the prescribed age of 18 years old indicates that respondents irrespective of gender enter a bar or bottle store.
The application of restorative justice amongst sentenced offenders in an Eastern Cape correctional centre : a South African case studySource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 82 –101 (2014)More Less
Formal criminal justice approaches and the systems linked to them are mostly retributive since its inception. In these approaches there is a strong focus on the crime committed, but hardly any focus on the offender, apart from using previous convictions to impose an even harsher sentence for the current crime. The victim is rarely considered in retributive justice, and neither forgiveness nor healing receives any prominence. Yet, forgiveness forms a core part of healing. It is not only the victim who benefits from it, but also the offender. Bringing about forgiveness and healing by means of the justice system became known as restorative justice. The concept is often applied before offenders are sentenced and entails reparation, but rarely does restorative justice play a prominent role after sentencing has taken place. Restorative justice may create opportunities for healing outside the sentencing paradigm, but within the criminal justice system. This occurs through the involvement of victims and sentenced offenders in a mediation process, after the offender has already completed a substantial part of the sentence. The research discussed in this article emanates from an effort to reconcile victims and sentenced offenders at an opportune moment in the post-conviction stage after a substantial part of the sentence has already been completed. The external mediation team are from an academic institution where criminal justice matters are researched. This approach is unique in South Africa (but not necessarily in the rest of the world) and holds promise for the promotion of more extensive restorative justice practices in future. There is indeed a growing need for more restorative justice approaches, as seen from recent South African parole decisions.
Human trafficking with specific reference to South African and Mozambican counter-trafficking legislationAuthor Richard Obinna IroanyaSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 102 –115 (2014)More Less
The adverse impact of human trafficking on individuals, societies, countries and regions have necessitated legal and non-legal efforts being made at global, regional and national levels to combat the phenomenon. This article specifically compares South African and Mozambican approaches to countering human trafficking and provides a conceptual framework of trafficking. This does not entail a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of South African and Mozambican measures in combating trafficking, but a content analysis of major provisions of their anti-trafficking legislation enacted in fulfilment of the obligations of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children of 2000 (Palermo Protocol). It is contended that the adoption of anti-trafficking legislation by these countries signifies a willingness to comprehensively address the problem. While similarities can be observed in provisions relating to prosecution, protection, prevention, national co-ordination and co-operation as well as international co-ordination and co-operation, certain differences still exist. These differences are observed in, for example, provisions relating to reporting and investigation of cases of trafficking. While fewer powers appear to be given to the Mozambican police to investigate trafficking cases, more powers are given to the South African police. Again, while the South African legislation makes provision for extra-territorial jurisdiction regarding cases of trafficking, the Mozambican legislation has not provided for this. Despite comprehensive provisions to address human trafficking, the anti-trafficking legislation of both countries contains certain weaknesses in areas such as the provision of guidelines for victim identification. These weaknesses, it is contended, will hinder effective implementation of the anti-trafficking laws. Against this background, suggestions are made for prioritisation of the campaign against trafficking through national co-operation and co-ordination, as well as bi-lateral and multi-lateral international co-operation.
Author Henri FoucheSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 114 –129 (2014)More Less
This article emanates from the recognition that there has been a long-felt need for an integrated maritime strategy for Africa at continental level. In response to that recognition the article traces the path followed, and contributions made, by some of the important plans and policies that culminated in 2012 in the formulation of the African Union's Integrated Maritime Strategy 2050. A point of departure for this article is an examination of the challenges in regional context through the existing regional economic communities. In addition, the emerging threats from Africa's maritime domain are also highlighted. Possible solutions to effectively deal with these threats are articulated in the light of the practical experience gained during the recent robust international action against pirates operating off the coast of Somalia. Problems experienced with vulnerable legal frameworks are also analysed and addressed with the intention of providing solutions, not only in order to successfully prosecute pirates, but also to apply the lessons learnt to deal more successfully with the prosecution of all the articulated forms of crime emanating from the African maritime domain. The challenges confronting the implementation of these solutions are discussed and analysed and possible ways of overcoming them have been formulated with recommendations. The article, in pointing out the shortcomings, argues strongly that all role-players need to work together for a solution. Firstly, in their own countries, and secondly, regionally. A final recommendation is made that all the relevant role-players be included in, and be party to, any bi- or multi-lateral Memoranda of Understanding negotiations between states with reference to safety and security issues in the African maritime domain.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 130 –145 (2014)More Less
The first legislation with regard to reporting vehicle accidents in South Africa was promulgated in the old Ordinances of the Province of Transvaal during 1913. Several amendments were made since 1913 to legislation related to accident reporting but it remains a time consuming process for all involved, including police officials and is unnecessarily complicated. It seems that technology is not yet utilised to its fullest potential in this regard. This article argues that the development and implementation of a more modern app-online method of reporting certain accidents could be less time consuming as well as successfully address the problem of statistics that are not available for damage-only accidents. It will also release police officers for more serious crime combating duties. A survey of drivers of motor vehicles indicated that they prefer an online accident reporting system. Group interviews with stakeholders in accident reporting also indicated that a simpler accident form should be developed for accidents without injuries. The authors suggests that further amendment to the Road Traffic Act to accommodate more cost effective online accident reporting, could save time and minimise expense. Costly manpower could then be utilised more effectively, allowing police officials to focus on the core functions of the police such as law enforcement. A framework for accident reporting, involve an electronic application, eAccident APP, is proposed.