Crime and Policing in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Crime and Policing in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Transforming under Fire
Mark Shaw
Distribution: North America and Japan
Publication date: 5/23/2002
Format: paper 184 pages
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-21537-6
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“[A] cogent and well-informed discussion of the South African Police Service and the organisational problems it faces.” —Stephen Ellis

Since the mid-1990s, South Africa has experienced a crime wave of such unprecedented proportions that the ability of the new democracy to form a stable civil society and govern effectively has been called into question. In this timely book, Mark Shaw describes how a police force that was so effective under apartheid became so ineffectual in the face of rising crime. He shows how an increase in violent crime shapes society, police, and government, and discusses possible solutions for the current crisis. International crimes such as war, terrorism, and organized crime are explored along with crimes that affect individual security, such as armed robbery, murder, and rape. Crime and Policing in Post-Apartheid South Africa draws attention to both the national and the international dimensions of crime in this society in transition.

Author Bio

Mark Shaw is a research fellow in the Department of Political Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, and former director of President Mandela’s special government unit on crime and justice.


"Shaw has written a short but very concise treatment of crime and law enforcement policies in post-apartheid South Africa. In the preface, Shaw asks .. how could a police force like that of the apartheid order, which was such an effective instrument in the defense of the old system, seem so powerless in the face of rising lawlessness? From the mid 1990s to the present, the state of South Africa has experienced a crime wave that threatens not only the nation's democratic institutions, but also its very survival as a geopolitical entity. Shaw draws upon his wide experience in law enforcement positions in South Africa, including the Center for Policy Studies in Johannesburg, the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, and the South African Department of Safety and Security. This work not only illuminates the criminogenic aspects of South African society today, but international dimensions of South African crime as well. Upper-division undergraduates and above." —J. C. Watkins, Jr., University of Alabama, Choice , February 2003

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Table of Contents

Preliminary :

1. A Criminal State
2. The Politics of Police Change
3. Confronting the Violent Society
4. The Rise of Organised Crime
5. Public Reactions to Insecurity
6. The Impact of Private Policing
7. Assessing State Responses
8. Conclusion: Options and Prospects