n Acta Academica - Vigilantism as a feature of political decay in the post-1994 South African dispensation

Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0587-2405


Little research has been done on the phenomenon of vigilantism in South Africa. Vigilantism describes the action of citizens who take the law into their own hands, making use of violent methods, in the context of inadequate law enforcement by the state and the collapse of public order. In an environment of political instability, lack of public order and related security problems, groups such as People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD), Mapoga-a-Mathamaga and "people's courts" have come into being as vigilante organisations. This article describes and analyses vigilantism in South Africa against the backdrop of disintegrating public order.

Slegs beperkte navorsing is gedoen op die terrein van vigilantisme in Suid-Afrika. Vigilantisme beskryf 'n situasie waar burgers die reg in eie hande neem teen die agtergrond van gebrekkige wetstoepassing deur die staat en 'n openbare regsorde wat besig is om in duie te stort. Binne 'n onstabiele politieke omgewing en 'n gebrekkige openbare regsorde, het groepe soos People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD), Mapogo-a-Mathamaga en straatshowe (people's courts) begin optree as vigilante organisasies. Hierdie artikel konsentreer op vigilantisme in Suid-Afrika teen die agtergrond van 'n openbare regsorde wat besig is om te disintegreer.

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