n SA Crime Quarterly - Taking stock of the last 20 years - responses to organised crime in a democratic South Africa

Volume 2014, Issue 48
  • ISSN : 1991-3877



Following the end of apartheid, the South African state has faced a number of challenges. One of these has been the growing spectre of organised crime, which has weighed heavily on the public consciousness. The narrative has been one of organised crime, which is becoming increasingly sophisticated and dangerous, pitted against a weakening and ill-equipped state.

This article seeks to give insight into the legal and institutional measures taken by the South African state over the last 20 years. It focuses on direct state responses to organised crime, primarily changes to legislation and enforcement structures. It finds that although the state has been active in changing legislation to combat organised crime, it has often been its own worst enemy where enforcement is concerned, and has consequently lost some important tools in the fight against organised crime.

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