n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - Perpetually half-formed? State and non-state security in the work of Wilfried Schärf

Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



During the apartheid era, Wilfried Scharf's abiding intellectual concern was with the organisational forms that developed in the nexus between private protection and illicit commerce in black, urban South Africa, and with the mutually corrupting relationship between these two structures and apartheid security agencies. At the beginning of the democratic era, Wilfried was thus uniquely positioned to understand that the largest question facing the police was its relationship with non-state structures of protection. I argue here that the post-apartheid state has failed to articulate productively with these structures; the result is that the stage is set for the buying and selling of violence by state actors.

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