n Journal of Public Administration - The Community Policing philosophy and the right to public protest in South Africa : are there positive developments after two decades of democracy?

Volume 49, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The purpose of this paper is to put forward an argument that despite the adoption of a new approach into policing dubbed Community Policing in South Africa, challenges of controlling public especially during protests are replica to those of apartheid era and triggering similar output and criticism among some parts of the society. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, unlike the pre-1994 constitutions, provides for the South African population with the right to protest and express their dissatisfaction against government on socio-economic issues. These rights which are enshrined in the 1996 Constitution are supposed to be limited within the parameters of the law. However, a reaction from the South African Police Services (SAPS) in handling public protests contradict the provisions of the Constitution in the sense that elements of brutality still prevail. This paper is conceptual in the sense that it evaluates and analyse the philosophical system of policing in South Africa from 1994 to 2014 in trying to establish whether there are positive developments or not in line with the spirit of the new democratically dispensation. The paper therefore conclude that the Community Policing philosophy is not positively working as an applicable model suitable for policing in a democratic South Africa and its current application retains the status quo of the apartheid-era police practice and therefore the country need to review its approach in policing and public order control.

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