SA Crime Quarterly - Volume 2015, Issue 53, 2015
Volumes & issues
Volume 2015, Issue 53, 2015
Source: SA Crime Quarterly 2015, pp 3 –4 (2015)More Less
Commissions of inquiry into police have a long and chequered history - both internationally and locally. In this special edition, our focus falls on the two most recent commissions of inquiry into police in South Africa -parochially known as the Marikana and Khayelitsha commissions. The deliberations of the two commissions have attracted much attention. Media coverage has at times opted for the sensational. However, a steady stream of more thoughtful commentaries, crafted by investigative journalists and policing experts, has also seen the light. The archival footprints of both commissions have been enormous. Thousands of pages of information on a wide range of administrative, operational and policy matters of relevance to police and policing have been produced. The online storage of expert testimonies, witness statements, and transcriptions of cross-examinations has further enhanced access to both primary and secondary material. Amid this abundance of data it would seem that those interested in the trials and tribulations of policing the post-colony can do no better than to capitalise on the opportunity for critical reflection and substantive analysis. In this special edition of the South African Crime Quarterly we take up the challenge for reflection.
Author Bill DixonSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2015, pp 5 –14 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sacq.v53i1.1More Less
Only rarely do inquiries into policing investigate the social context within which it takes place. This article looks at two inquiries that chose to take on this task: Lord Scarman's into the Brixton disorders in London in April 1981; and Justice Kate O'Regan and Advocate Vusi Pikoli's into the current state of policing in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape. It argues that they should be applauded for doing so, but draws attention to how difficult it can be to persuade governments to address the deep-rooted social and economic problems associated with crises in policing rather than focus on reforming the police institution, its policies, procedures and practices.
Source: SA Crime Quarterly 2015, pp 15 –26 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sacq.v53i1.2More Less
The Khayelitsha Commission revealed that areas that are predominantly populated by people who are poor and black are systematically allocated only a small fraction of the average per capita allocation of police personnel in the Western Cape. These areas also suffer among the highest rates of murder and serious violent crime in the province. The allocation of human resources to policing impinges on various constitutional rights. Given the inequity and irrationality apparent in the allocation of police personnel, the Khayelitsha Commission recommended that this method be urgently revised. This article reviews the evidence heard on the allocations and the method currently used to allocate police personnel, suggests an alternative method, and calls on the government to heed the recommendation of the Khayelitsha Commission that the state urgently revise its method of allocation of policing resources.
Source: SA Crime Quarterly 2015, pp 27 –37 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sacq.v53i1.3More Less
In order for a single South African police station to operate optimally, or indeed at any level of functionality at all, it is required to form cooperative relations with a host of external institutions. This is in addition to ensuring that the internal structural capacity of a police station is maintained. The Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Police Inefficiency and a Breakdown in Relations between SAPS and the Community in Khayelitsha identified shortcomings in both internal structures and the functioning of external relations. Here, we provide an overview of the stakeholders that make up the policing web in Khayelitsha. This forms the basis for clearer understandings of on-the-ground policing in this unsafe and violent neighbourhood.
Author Gareth NewhamSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2015, pp 39 –48 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sacq.v53i1.4More Less
The Marikana Commission of Inquiry report presented damning findings against the South African Police Service (SAPS) National Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, and the senior commanders involved in the Marikana massacre. Their decision to disarm and disperse striking miners was found to be flawed and to have resulted in police officers unjustifiably shooting 112 striking mineworkers, killing 34 of them. Moreover, their integrity was found wanting on the basis that Phiyega and her senior commanders withheld crucial evidence, constructed misleading evidence, and provided untruthful testimony before the commission. This article argues that a necessary condition for improvements to take place in the SAPS relates to improving the top leadership of the organisation. Fortunately, the National Development Plan provides a starting point as to how this can be achieved. 'Police supervisors at any level need to be aware that their behaviour has a strong impact on the organisational culture, which in turn contributes to police behaviour.'
Author Johan BurgerSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2015, pp 49 –58 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sacq.v53i1.5More Less
There have been no shortage of reviews, evaluations and audits of police performance in South Africa over the past decade. This article provides a detailed description of the key findings of a number of reviews relating to the role and function of the SAPS. A closer reading of these reviews points to considerable agreement about the systemic weaknesses that confront the police organisation today. What is problematised in this article is the apparent inability and/or unwillingness of senior leadership to address the organisational defects through deliberative and concerted interventions. This lack of action has dire consequences for both the police organisation and the communities it is supposed to serve.
Source: SA Crime Quarterly 2015, pp 59 –63 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sacq.v53i1.6More Less
In August 2012 Kate O'Regan, a former judge of the South African Constitutional Court, was appointed by the premier of the Western Cape to head the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Police Inefficiency and a Breakdown in Relations between SAPS and the Community in Khayelitsha. Two years later, on 25 August 2014, the commission submitted its final report and recommendations.
In this exchange O'Regan reflects from the inside out on some aspects of the public inquiry into policing in Khayelitsha. Here one finds reference to judicial independence and organisational autonomy of commissions of inquiry; the value of comparative lesson drawing for process design; the importance of creating safe spaces for all participants; and honouring the contributions of participants. Policing, O'Regan concludes, is a truly challenging enterprise. Both political and police leadership carry a moral responsibility to engage systemic and other challenges as identified in both of the Marikana and Khayelitsha reports. Not to do so would imply the abdication of responsibility to address the safety and security concerns of South African citizens.