ArticlePDF Available

Abstract

In recent months, police behaviour in South Africa has generated condemnation, particularly in regard to public displays of violent tactics in dealing with protesters. In August 2004, 17 year old Teboho Mkhonza was killed when police opened fire on protestors blocking a highway outside of Harrismith (Bruce, 2005). This tragedy was not an isolated incident. In townships across South Africa, police have (once again) been using tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse angry crowds protesting the slow pace of service delivery. In central business districts police have acted similarly against workers who have taken to the streets over public service wage deadlocks (Breytenbach & Sapa, 2005). Police violence is also occurring in more hidden spaces. Foreign nationals and immigrants are aggressively harassed by the police on a daily basis. Scare and bribery tactics are regularly employed by the police in their encounter with members of vulnerable groupings, such as (illegal) immigrants (Templeton & Maphumulo, 2005). And, as David Bruce and Gareth Newham demonstrate in this special issue, the continued prevalence of serious police misconduct and the excessive use of deadly force remain cause for concern.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Final!draft!of!paper!subsequently!published!as:!!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
In!recent!months,!police!behaviour!in!South!Africa!has!generated!condemnation,!particularly!
in!regard!to!public!displays!of!violent!tactics!in!dealing!with!protesters.!In!August!2004,!17!
year! old! Teboho! Mkhonza! was! killed! when! police! opened! fire! on! protestors! blocking! a!
highway!outside! of! Harrismith!(Bruce,! 2005).! This!tragedy! was! not!an! isolated! incident.!In!
townships!across!South! Africa,!police!have!(once!again)!been!using! tear!gas,!stun!grenades!
and!rubber!bullets!to!disperse!angry!crowds!protesting!the!slow!pace!of!service!delivery.!In!
central!business!districts!police!have!acted!Similarly!against!workers!who!have!taken!to!the!
streets!over!public!service!wage!deadlocks!(Breytenbach!&!Sapa,!2005).!Police!violence!is!also!
occturring!in!more!hidden!spaces.!Foreign!nationals!and!immigrants!are!aggressively!harassed!
by!the!police!on!a!daily!basis.!Scare!and!bribery!tactics!are!regularly!employed!by!the!police!
in! their! encounter! with! members! of! vulnerable! groupings,! such! as! (illegal)! immigrants!
(Templeton!&!Maphumulo,!2005).!And,!as!David!Bruce!and!Gareth!Newham!demonstrate!in!
this!special!issue,! the! continued! prevalence!of!serious!police!misconduct!and!the!excessive!
use!of!deadly!force!remain!cause!for!concern.!!
The! public! reporting! of! these! police! practices! has! led! to! some! questioning! about! the!
effectiveness!of!police!reform!in!South!Africa.!Have!the!police!really!changed?!Why!do!they!
resort!to!old!and!familiar!tactics!despite!new!legislation!and!new!training!programmes?!Is!the!
democratic!honeymoon!over!so!soon!in!South!Africa?!In!a!recent!article!in!the!Business!Day,!
a!senior!policing!researcher!at!the!Centre!for!the!Study!of!Violence!and!Reconciliation,!David!
Bruce,!addressed!some!of!these!questions.!His!answers!are!cautious!but!optimistic.!!
South! Africa's! policing! system! has! changed! profoundly! ...! while! there! have! been!
incidents!of!brutality!and!heavyYhandedness,!it!is!still!important!to!acknowledge!that!
the! police! have! performed! well! in! many! cases! in! policing! demonstrations! with!
minimum!force.!!
Bruce!insists!that!fingers!should!not!be!pointed!so!much!at!the!police!as!at!the!socioYpolitical!
environment!in!which!they!operate,!what!policing!scholar,!Janet!Chan!(1996),!would!call!the!
'field!of!policing'.!For!Bruce!(2005)!then,!what!needs!to!be!accounted!for!is!that:!!
The! current! unrest! is! in! part! a! reflection! of! grassroots! dissatisfaction! with! service!
provision,!the!fulfilment!of!economic!and!social!rights!guaranteed!in!the!constitution,!
as!well!as!some!of!the!more!objectionable!neoYliberal!policies.!At!the!same!time!it!is!
also! a! reflection! of! a! breakdown! of! communication,! and! local! government's!
unwillingness!to!listen!to!community!members!and!community!organisations!...!South!
Africa!does!not!have!to!relive!the!violent!confrontations!of!the!past!...!if!systems!for!
consultation!and!communication! can!be!improved!at!the!local! level,!and!systems!of!
!
service! delivery! strengthened,! this! may! prevent! another!
generation!of!youth!from!being!born!at!the!barricades.!!
David! Bruce's! observations! are! important.! To! understand! police! behaviour! it! is! vital! to!
understand!the!environment!(local,!national,!regional!and!global)!in!which!the!police!operate.!
For!change!to!take!effect!within!police!organisations,!the!field!of!policing!must!support!these!
changes.!It!is!one!thing! for! police! to! be!trained!in!tolerant!public!order!policing.! It! is! quite!
another!thing!to!send!these!same!police!out!on!the!streets!with!political!instructions!to!quell!
dissent.!!
Any!understanding!of!police!reform!must!be!framed!by!the!policing!environment.!However,!
this!should!not! stop! us! from! asking!what!is!happening!within! the! police! organisation!itself!
that!is!preventing!reform!objectives!from!being!achieved.!The!authors!in!this!special!issue!are!
concerned!with!the! state! of!police!reform! in! South! Africa.!They!are!concerned! with! police!
reform!indicators!and!with!the!failures!and!successes!of!a!variety!of!mechanisms!and!agencies!
that! have! been! harnessed! to! bring! about! desired! changes.! They! ask! this! question! not! as!
outsiders!to!the!police!but!as!researchers!who!have!over!the!years!engaged!very!directly!with!
police! members! in! an! attempt! to! promote! more! democratic! practices.! In! laying! bare! the!
deficits! in! police! democratisation,! they! raise! important! questions! about! the! adequacy! of!
conventional!police!reform!mechanisms!and!the!ideological!frameworks!of!reform!agencies.!
In!so!doing,!they!bring!to!bear!the!need!for!more!innovative!police!reform!mechanisms!and!
for!rethinking!South!Africa's!place!in!a!global!world.!!
The$shortcomings$of$conventional$police$reform$mechanisms$$
David! Bruce! and! Gareth! Newham! share! similar! concerns.! They! are! both! concerned! with!
evidence!that!suggests!that!the!abusive!and!violent!behaviour!of!the!police!has!not!changed!
dramatically!since!the!transition!to!democratic!governance!in!South!Africa.!Bruce!questions!
whether!or!not!the!incidence!of!police!use!of!force!has!decreased!in!the!past!ten!years.!He!is!
particularly!interested!to!discover!whether!the!introduction!of!new!legislation!in!2003!on!the!
use!of!deadly!force!for!arrest!has!impacted!in!any!way!on!police!behaviour.!This!is!not!an!easy!
question!to!answer.!As!Bruce!demonstrates,!the!statistics!that!are!available,!particularly!those!
from!earlier!decades!do!not!provide!us!with!an!accurate!picture!of!the!number!of!people!who!
died!as!a! result! of! police!action.!He!also! points! out! that!comparisons!between!the! preand!
postYapartheid!periods!are!difficult! to! make! given! that!the!very!structuring!of!public!police!
agencies!has!changed!dramatically!as!has!the!mandate!of!the!police!and!the!categorisation!of!
'deaths!at!the!hands!of!the!police'!incidents.!!
Despite!the!limitations!on!comparing!these!two!periods,!Bruce!concludes!tentatively!that!the!
available!statistics!seem!to!indicate!that!there!has!been!a!general!decrease!in!the!number!of!
deaths! as! a! result! of! police! action.! Even! so,! the! incidences! remain! very! high,! and! this! is!
extremely!worrying.!What!is!most!interesting!to!note!is!that!in!two!provinces,!KwaZuluYNatal!
!
and! the! Eastern! Cape,! deaths! as! a! result! of! police! action! increased!
following!the!introduction!of!new!legislation.!There!are!a!number!of!variables!which! could!
explain!this,!Bruce!suggests.!While!the!exact! causal! factors! may! remain! unanswered! in! the!
paper,!what!is! clear! is! that!policy!on!its! own! does! not!produce!change.!Bruce! steers! away!
from! answering! definitively! whether! the! South! African! Police! Service! ten! years! into! the!
democracy!is!more,!less!or!equally!violent!as!compared!with!the!South!African!Police!during!
high!apartheid.!But!what!is!apparent,!according!to!him,!is!that!a!human!rights!culture!has!not!
become!embedded!within!the!SAPS.!!
Gareth!Newham,!in!his!article,!is!also!concerned!with!police!abuse!of!power!and!misconduct.!
In!particular,!he!is!interested!in! the! high! levels! of! police! corruption! and! illYdiscipline!within!
the!South!African!Police!Service.!His!article! clearly! demonstrates! that! the! civilian! oversight!
bodies! that! were! installed! after! 1994! have! not! really! succeeded! in! curtailing! bad! police!
practice.!He!is!most!concerned!with!how!police!accountability!is!ensured.!as!this,!he!believes!
is!one!of!the!cornerstones!of!democratic!policing.!He!recognizes!the!huge!changes!that!have!
taken! place! within! the! public! police! in! South! Africa! but! says! that! there! are! still! serious!
questions!about!the!legitimacy!of!the!police!in!the!eyes!of!the!majority!of!the!population.!This!
lack!of!legitimacy! is! made! worse!by!increasing!rates! of! police! misconduct:!recorded!police!
corruption!rates!have!trebled!between!1996!and!2000.!!
Like!Bruce,!Newman!tries!to!make!sense!of!the!deficits!in!reform!and!he!looks!toward!the!
field!of!policing!for!answers.!He!suggests!that!the!public!demand!for!tougher!policing!makes!
the!task!of!police!democratisation!tricky.!This!is!a!point!frequently!made!by!Rachel!Neild,!who,!
in! looking! at! police! reform! in! a! variety! of! transitional! societies! argues! that! there! is! often!
continued!police!abuse!in!countries!undergoing!democratic!transitions.!Governments!in!these!
countries,!she!argues,!are!only!able!to!provide!'low!intensity!democracy'!(Neild,!1999:!I).!High!
crime! rates! tend! to! give! rise! to! publics! who! seek! repressive! policing! at! the! cost! of! the!
democratic!policing!that!these!same!publics!demanded!(Neild,!1999).!Given!this!reality,!one!
of!the! key!questions! confronting! those!concerned! with! police! reform! in!South! Africa! (and!
beyond)!is:!How!can!police!be!expected!to!conduct!themselves!in!a!human!rights!respecting!
manner!if!the!public!show!little!concern!with!human!rights!frameworks!and!indeed!see!them!
as!inconvenient?!!
What!Newham's!article!reveals!is!that!there!are!a!number!of!contradictory!forces!impacting!
on! the! police! at! present.! Like! Bruce,! Newham! recognises! that! policy! changes! and! rule!
tightening!are! not! guarantors!of! reform! success,!particularly! at! the!level!of! police! culture.!
While! this! is! not! a! surprising! conclusion! to! reach,! it! is! certainly! one! that! is! worthwhile!
repeating,! since! police! reformers! tend! to! rely! on! policy! and! training! as! mechanisms! for!
change,!despite! ongoing!evidence!of!failed!outcomes!Oones!et!al,$1996).! The!reality!is!that!
new!training,!new!policy!and!even!dramatic!changes!in!government!do!not!automatically!lead!
to!the!actualisation!of!stated!goals!of!reform.!!
!
While!structural! changes!may!be!put!into! action!as!a!result!of!these!
external!influences,!the!informal!values!and!practice!norms!of!the!police!which!are!embodied!
in!police! culture! (Chan,! 1997)!are!more! difficult! to! change.!These!normative! practices! and!
values! have! been! created! through! historical! daily! experiences! on! the! streets! and! are!
reinforced!in!the!stories!that!police!tell!and!the!memories!that!they!hold!dear.!Police!officers!
are!also! agents! in!their! own! right.!They! interpret! their!environment! in! different!ways! and!
while!welcoming!some!changes,!may!resist!or!challenge!others.!For!change!to! come!about,!
new!procedures!and!methods!need!to!be!seen!to!work!effectively!in!the!field.!Policy!does!not!
lead!directly! to!new!forms!of!behaviour.! It!is!the!context!of! rules,!not!the!rules!themselves!
that! determine! how! policy! is! interpreted! and! put! into! effect.! The! reality! is! that! 'formal!
organisational! rules,! enshrined! in! law,! policy! or! some! other! prescriptive! managerial!
instrument!are!changed!as!they!are!used!within!the!context!of!policing!the!streets'!(Holdaway,!
1994:70).!Change!in!police!organisations,!then,!cannot!be!brought!about!in!a!oneYdimensional!
manner!since! there! are!always! assumptions! lodged!in! the! minds!of! those! who!implement!
policies! in! their! daily! work.! These! assumptions! will! shape! the! way! in! which! policies! are!
translated!into! everyday! policing! practice.!Police!are!pragmatists! who! are! 'concerned!with!
how! to! get! from! here! to! tomorrow! (or! the! next! hour)! with! the! least! amount! of! fuss! and!
paperwork'!(Reiner,! 1992:! 128).! They!tend! to! focus! on!observable! and! tangible! outcomes.!
Very! little! attention! is! paid! to! the! need! to! transform! existing! values! and! assumptions.! A!
fundamental!shift!in!values!and!assumptions!(which!was!implicitly!expected!from!the!police!
as! they! were! repositioned! in! a! new! democratic! order)! necessitates! a! dramatic!
reconceptualisation!of!the!role!and!selfYperception!of!the!police!organisation!and!of!individual!
police!members.!
In!his!article,!Antony!Albecker!shows!very!clearly!how!policy!imposed!from!above!and!outside!
are! met! with! much! antagonism! by! police! members.! 'Integration',! Altbecker! argues,! has!
become!somewhat! of! a!mantra!in!South!African! amongst!policy!makers,!particularly!within!
the! criminal! justice! sector.! With! little! sensitivity! to! local! conditions! and! to! sensibilities! of!
police! actors,! criminal! justice! policy! makers! have! unquestioningly! adopted! international!
policy! trends! that! stress! a! wholeYofYdepartment,! wholeYofYgovernment! approach! to!
governance.!Little!or!no!account!has!been!taken!of!what!such!policies! mean! for! the! police!
who!work!within!policy!frameworks!and!imperatives.!!
Altbecker!has!spent!time!talking!to!members!of!the!detective!unit!about!policy!shifts!aimed!
at!integrating!the!unit!into!regular!policing!units.!What!he!discovered!was!that!the!integration!
policy!was! a!source!of!Significant!discontent!within!the!detective!unit!who!have! responded!
with!a!fair!amount!of!informal!resistance.!And!while!Altbecker!doesn't!belabour!the!point,!it!
appears!that!there!has!also!been!a!fair!amount!of!informal!resistance!from!the!same!group!in!
response!to! 'affirmative!action'!policies!and!appointments.!This!imposed!policy!from!above!
has! resulted! in! a! general! unwillingness! to! succumb! to! police! leaders! and! a! refusal! to!
internalise! policy! changes.! Instead,! members! of! this! unit! have,! to! use! Altbecker's! words,!
!
'reconciled! [themselves]! to! the! changed! legal! environment'.! The!
resultant!changes!in!the!unit!have!been!mechanistic.!There!has!been!no!change!of!heart,!no!
reinventing! of! selfYidentities! and! little! identification! with! the! overall! police! reform!
programme.!Bruce,! Newham!and!Altbecker!seem!to! be!making!a!similar!point:! If!we!are!to!
take! police! culture! seriously! as! we! should,! reform! mechanisms! should! not! be! purely!
technocratic!in!nature,!nor!should!they!be!imposed!without!consideration!of!local!conditions!
and!experiences.!!
Enduring! reform! necessitates! an! understanding! of! entrenched! police! identities,! practices,!
assumptions! and! values.! Changing! these! requires! shifts! in! police! leadership! styles! toward!
participatory!yet!directive!management.!It!requires!providing!police!members!with!forums!to!
voice! their! concerns! and! to! actively! shape! decisionYmaking! and! reform! procedures! and!
methods!need!to!be!seen!to!work!effectively!in!the!field.!Policy!does!not!lead!directly!to!new!
forms!of! behaviour.!It!is!the! context!of!rules,!not!the!rules!themselves!that!determine!how!
policy! is! interpreted! and! put! into! effect.! The! reality! is! that! 'formal! organisational! rules,!
enshrined!in! law,! policy!or!some! other! prescriptive!managerial!instrument! are! changed!as!
they!are!used!within!the!context!of!policing!the!streets'!(Holdaway,!1994:70).!Change!in!police!
organisations,!then,! cannot!be!brought!about!in!a! oneYdimensional!manner!since!there!are!
always!assumptions!lodged!in!the!minds!of!those!who!implement!policies!in!their!daily!work.!
These!assumptions!will!shape!the!way!in!which!policies!are!translated!into!everyday!policing!
practice.!Police!are!pragmatists!who!are!'concerned!with!how!to!get!from!here!to!tomorrow!
(or!the!next!hour)!with!the!least! amount! of! fuss! and! paperwork'! (Reiner,! 1992:!128).! They!
tend!to!focus!on!observable!and!tangible!outcomes.!Very!little!attention!is!paid!to!the!need!
to!transform!existing!values!and!assumptions.!A!fundamental!shift!in!values!and!assumptions!
(which!was!implicitly!expected!from!the!police!as!they!were!repositioned!in!a!new!democratic!
order)! necessitates! a! dramatic! reconceptualisation! of! the! role! and! selfYperception! of! the!
police!organisation!and!of!individual!police!members.!
!
In!his!article,!Antony!Albecker!shows!very!clearly!how!policy!imposed!from!above!and!outside!
are! met! with! much! antagonism! by! police! members.! 'Integration',! Altbecker! argues,! has!
become!somewhat! of! a!mantra!in!South!African! amongst!policy!makers,!particularly!within!
the! criminal! justice! sector.! With! little! sensitivity! to! local! conditions! and! to! sensibilities! of!
police! actors,! criminal! justice! policy! makers! have! unquestioningly! adopted! international!
policy! trends! that! stress! a! wholeYofYdepartment,! wholeYofYgovernment! approach! to!
governance.!Little!or!no!account!has!been!taken!of!what!such!policies! mean! for! the! police!
who!work!within!policy!frameworks!and!imperatives.!!
Altbecker!has!spent!time!talking!to!members!of!the!detective!unit!about!policy!shifts!aimed!
at!integrating!the!unit!into!regular!policing!units.!What!he!discovered!was!that!the!integration!
policy!was! a!source!of!Significant!discontent!within!the!detective!unit!who!have!responded!
with!a!fair!amount!of!informal!resistance.!And!while!Altbecker!doesn't!belabour!the!point,!it!
!
appears!that!there!has!also!been!a!fair!amount!of!informal!resistance!
from! the! same! group! in! response! to! 'affirmative! action'! policies! and! appointments.! This!
imposed! policy! from! above! has! resulted! in! a! general! unwillingness! to! succumb! to! police!
leaders!and!a!refusal!to!internalise!policy!changes.!Instead,!members!of!this!unit!have,!to!use!
Altbecker's!words,!'reconciled![themselves]!to!the!changed!legal!environment'.!The!resultant!
changes!in!the!unit!have!been!mechanistic.!There!has!been!no!change!of!heart,!no!reinventing!
of!selfYidentities! and! little!identification! with! the!overall! police! reform!programme.! Bruce,!
Newham!and!Altbecker!seem!to!be!making!a!similar!point:!If!we!are!to!take!police!culture!
seriously!as!we!should,!reform!mechanisms!should!not!be!purely!technocratic!in!nature,!nor!
should!they!be!imposed!without!consideration!of!local!conditions!and!experiences.!!
Enduring! reform! necessitates! an! understanding! of! entrenched! police! identities,! practices,!
assumptions! and! values.! Changing! these! requires! shifts! in! police! leadership! styles! toward!
participatory!yet!directive!management.!It!requires!providing!police!members!with!forums!to!
voice!their!concerns!and!to!actively!shape!decisionYmaking!and!reform!agendas.!And,!perhaps!
most!importantly,!the!way! in! which! police! present!and!represent!themselves!in!their! daily!
discourse!and!in! the! stories! they! tell!needs!to!change!(Shearing!&!Ericson,!1991).!Selective!
memories!and!of!the!'good!old!days'!and!of!past!triumphs!can!block!organisational!change.!
The!stories!that!police!tell!and!the!memories!they!hold!dear!are!often!based!on!a!defensive!
collective!identity.!This! is! particularly!the!case!when!the!legitimacy!and! the! integrity!of!the!
police!are! questioned.! In!such! instances,! police!clutch! onto! the!past! as! an!epoch! of! social!
control! and! police! effectiveness! (Mclaughlin! &! Murji,! 1998).! New! stories! and! celebratory!
moments! need! to! be! created! that! allow! the! police! to! let! go! of! their! defensive! identities!
through!producing!new!mirrors!through!which!they!can!reflect!on!themselves!and!their!roles.!
Such!mirrors!need! to! reinforce!what!is!functional,!what!really! works,! and!what!is!valued!in!
the!work!they!do.!At!the!same!time,!police!members!undergoing!change!need!to!feel!valued!
as!they!reconstruct!themselves.!This!requires!innovation!and!creativity!on!the!part!of!police!
reformers.!!
Policy$frameworks,$human$rights$cultures$and$police$as$social$agents$$
Local!change! agents!are!not!the! only!ones!that!have! failed!in!their!efforts! at!police!reform.!
International!agencies!have!also!experienced!their!share!of!disappointment!in!trying!to!bring!
about!police!reform.!Their!frustration,!Elrena!van!der!Spuy!suggests,!is!often!rooted!in!a!set!
of! realities! that! were! poorly! anticipated! by! donor! agencies! who! have! attempted! to! assist!
police!democratisation!programmes.!!
Van!der!Spuy!points!out!that!contrary!to!what!we!might!expect,!(Western!based)!international!
funding!bodies!have!little!prospect!of!imposing!already!drafted!programmes!onto!the!South!
African! development! landscape.! According! to! her,! while! technology! transfer! does! occur,!
South!Africa!has!the!capacity!to!shape!its!own!development!and!transformational!processes,!
!
even!at!the!more!local!level.!Despite!this,!she!is!somewhat! sceptical!
about!the!lasting!impact!of!international!interventions!on!policing!practice!in!South!Africa.!!
Van!der!Spuy,!in!her!article,!focuses!on!the!Assistance!to!Policing!Project!in!the!Eastern!Cape!
project.!She!assesses!the!impact!of!this!project!through!a!series!of!interviews!and!through!a!
documentary!analysis! of!project!evaluations.!The!project!emerged!not!from!external! needs!
assessment! processes,! but! rather! from! a! locally! driven! initiative! to! solicit! international!
assistance! for! the! rebuilding! of! the! public! police.! The! European! Union! and! British!
Development!Division!responded!to!this!solicitation!and!jointly!agreed!on!a!three!year!project!
framework.!!
The! project! included! a! number! of! very! conventional! international! assistance! programmes!
assistance! with! training! and! establishing! oversight! mechanisms! as! well! as! management!
support.! Less! conventionally,! the! project! was! committed! to! addressing! the! physical!
infrastructural!deficits!of! the! police.! This!is!in!keeping!with!current!international!assistance!
programmes!which! stress! a! need!for!a! balance! between! material!and!technical! support! in!
development! projects.! But,! there! were! a! number! of! other! impressive! aspects! in! the!
architecture!of!the!project.!Firstly,!a!steering!committee!was!established!which!comprised!a!
wide!range!of!representatives!including!government!officials,!local!community!members!and!
observers!from!the!donor!organisations.!The!project!also!provided!an!'onYtap'!advisor'!who!
worked!closely!with!key!government!actors!and!was!able!to!provide!both!technical!assistance!
and!judicious!yet!critical!backing.!But!when!problems!arose,!even!this!more!innovative!project!
resorted! to! the! 'magic! training! wand'! as! a! solution.! Wherever! democratic! policing! deficits!
were!noted,!more!training!(or!skilling!up)!was!advocated!as!a!mechanism!for!effecting!reform!
in! the! police! and! increased! effectiveness.! Training,! unfortunately! seems! to! always! be! the!
answer! to! policing! problems,! but! is! seldom! the! solution! to! deeper! set,! even! institutional!
hurdles.!While!training!is!undeniably!a!crucial!formal!tool!for!change,!there!are!a!multiplicity!
of!determinants!that!mediate!what!is!learn9d!in!formal!training!(Southgate,!1988).!Ultimately,!
as!Fielding! points!out,! training! initiatives!'stand! or! fall!on! their! acceptability!to! those! who!
carry!out!basic!police!work'!(Fielding,!1988:58).!!
Van!der!Spuy!concludes!that!there!were!two!problems!with!the!Eastern!Cape!donor!projects.!
In!the!first! instance,! no! real!mapping!had!been!done! prior! to! embarking!on!the!project! to!
establish! the! exact! nature! and! extent! of! policing! deficits! in! the! area.! Second,! too! much!
emphasis!was!placed!on!what!she!calls!the!'political!aspects!of!policing'!and!not!enough!focus!
on! the! material! realities! such! as! bureaucratisation! and! poor! resourcing! which! severely!
compromised! reform! objectives.! Added! to! this,! the! project! assumed! that! both! within! the!
police!organisation!and!the!community!there!was!buyYinto!a!community!policing!philosophy.!
In!the!first!phase!of!the!project,!therefore,!too!little!attention!was!given!to!ways!of!mobilising!
the! community! to! actively! participate! in! a! networked! policing! programme.! However,! the!
second! assistance! programme! introduced! new! policy! objectives! more! in! accordance! with!
!
international! trends! in!aid! policy! in!donor! host!countries.! This! shift!
embraced! an! emphasis! on! crossYcutting! partnerships! and! civic! involvement! in! crime!
prevention.!!
While!van!der!Spuy!commends!the!move!toward!a!networked!security!governance!approach!
in!the!Eastern!Cape!donor!project,!there!are!some!who!argue!that!this!approach!can!in!fact!
reinforce! donor! country! domination.! Andrew! Jefferson,! having! evaluated! international!
assistance!in! criminal! justice!reform! in! Nigeria,! warns!that! 'power! and!inequality!are! even!
more!effectively!silenced!when!development!aid!is!channeled!via!partnerships!and!networks!
of! local! actors'! Oefferson,! 2005:497).! This! is! because,! he! argues,! donor! agencies! become!
integral!to!the!governance!networks!of!criminal!justice!reform.!!
How!then! can! international! donor! assistance!programmes! be! more!appropriate! and! more!
effective?!van!der!Spuy!argues!that!in!the!first!instance!donor!agencies!need!to!have!better!
understandings!of!local!contexts!before!projects!are!initiated.!In!the!case!of!policing!in!South!
Africa!focusing!on!reforming!and!professionalising!the!public!police!is!a!massive!task!requiring!
enormous!resources.! What!needs!to!be!recognised,! van!der!Spuy!argues,!is! that!where!the!
public!police!are!a!'weak!agency'!such!as!in!'developing!contexts',!it!is!important!to!look!for!
new! institutional! arrangements! that! draw! on! the! (localised)! capacities! and! resources! of! a!
range!of!agencies.!To!date,!donor!agencies!have!tended!to!focus!on!the!resources!that!they!
have!to!offer!viewing!recipient!organisations!as!willing!vessels!to!be!filled!with!international!
wisdom!and!technology.!!
While!Van!der!Spuy!argues!that!in!the!Eastern!Cape!project!'donor!aid!followed,!rather!than!
dictated,!a!locally!Ydriven!agenda!for!police!reform',!it!is!important!to!ask!what!the!visionary!
limits!are!within!locally!driven!agendas.!Who!sets!the!agendas!for!these!local!initiatives?!This!
is!an!important!question!to!ask!given!that,!for!example,!community!policing!has!become!an!
unquestioningly! accepted! philosophy! and! framework! for! improved! policing.! While! the!
conception!of!community!policing!may!have!been!fineYtuned!according!to!local!requirements!
and!cultural!specificities,!whether!or!not!it!is!a!'homeYgrown'!idea!remains!questionable.!As!
Bill!Dixon!(2004)!argued!in!an!earlier! edition! of! SIT,! community! policing! is! more! 'apple! pie'!
than!'melktert',!although!the!recipes!and!the!cooking!have!been!blended.!It!is!perhaps!time!
to!look!for!new!concepts!and!new!designs!that!could!emerge!from!deliberations!between!the!
very!wide!range!of!agencies!who!actively!participate!in!the!policing!of!local!communities.!!
While! donor! agencies! may! have! all! good! intentions,! Jefferson! maintains! that! their!
interventions!are!never!neutral!or!simply!the!result!of!the!'altruistic!Western!heart'!Oefferson,!
2005:494).!Externally!sponsored!human!rights!training!courses!are!often!offered!to!criminal!
justice!organisations!in!the!developing!world.!This!is!because!these!organisations!are!viewed!
as!central! to!the!projects!of!good! governance,!democracy!and!regeneration.! Consequently,!
Jefferson!argues,!criminal!justice!reform!has!become!a!globalising!agenda.!And,!he!believes,!
no!matter!how! good! the!intent,!international!training!interventions!'!divert!attention! away!
!
from!unequal!distributions!of!global!wealth'!and!the!ultimate!goal!is!a!
'liberal!peace'!Oefferson,!2005:495).!!
Training,!Jefferson!writes,!particularly!in!'human!rights',!is!viewed!as!the!key!to!reform.!But,!
the!question! remains,! what! constitutes!human!rights?! Are! human!rights!a! universal! set!of!
values?!Do!specific!nations!and!regions!have!claim!to!particular!human!rights!discourse!and!
education?! Mahmood! Mamdani! (1990),! Ugandan! African! intellectual,! has! tried! to! answer!
some! of! these! questions.! He! writes! that! while! initially! human! rights! may! have! been!
articulated!most!systematically!by!American!and!French!revolutionaries!in!the!19th!century,!
they!are!by!no!means!a!European!or!American!invention.!Human!rights,!Mamdani!argues,!just!
like!democracy,!varies!from!one!social!context!to!another!based!on!historical!legacies!as!well!
as! existing! power! relations.! In! pushing! forward! with! human! rights! agendas,! it! is! vital! that!
change!agents!take!a!comprehensive!look!at!the!existing!power!relations!in!a!given!society.!
Only!once!localised!realities!are!fully!comprehended!is!it!possible!to!develop!a!'conception!of!
human!rights!that!is!organic!to!African!realities!and!not!lifted!in!every!detail!mechanically!...!
from!the!Western!experience'!(Mamdani,!1990:364).!
The! South! African! Truth! and! Reconciliation! Commission! (TRC)! is! arguably! one! of! the! best!
examples!of! a! coming!together!of! indigenous! and!international!human! rights! frameworks.!
While!truth!commissions!have!been!a!feature!of!many!post!conflict!renewal!programmes,!the!
TRC! is! in! many! ways! a! truly! South! African! innovation.! The! TRC! has! been! heralded!
internationally! as! a! model! for! reconciling! national! populations! with! a! brutal! past! and! the!
possibility!of!a!more!optimistic!future.!It!is!unique!in!its!fusion!of!an!amnesty!process!with!a!
truth!recovery!and!reparative!process.!!
The!basic! premise! of! the! TRC!was! that! there!can! be! no!real! reconciliation! and!movement!
forward!without!truth.!Within!this!premise!lies!a!blend!of!very!deeply!embedded!African!(and!
Christian)!value!systems!together!with!an!international!framework!of!human!rights.!The!TRC!
was!designed!to!prioritise!the!needs!of!victims!of!past!human!rights!violations.!Amnesty!was!
offered,!but!this!was!done!as!a!social!necessity!indebted!to!the!African!tradition!of!'ubuntu'!
which! connotes! humaneness,! caring! and! community.! This! philosophy! derived! from! the!
expression:!'People!are!people!through!other!people'.!In!this! (African)!version!of!humanity,!
the!concern!is!more!with!restoration!than!with!retribution.!Ubuntu!represents!a!willingness!
to!move!away!from!the!past!toward!a!future!that!is!about!the!wellbeing!of!humanity!(Graybill!
&!Lanegran,!2004).!!
Today,! the! TRC! is! viewed! as! Africa's! best! example! of! restorative! justice! emphasising!
reconciliation!between!perpetrators! and! victims!and!built!on!perpetrators'!repentance!and!
victim!forgiveness!(Graybill!and!Lanegran,! 2004).! The! TRC! has! become!a! model!for!dealing!
with! past! abuses! committed! by! state! agencies! and! is! a! wonderful! case! of! South! North!
modelling! (Ellis,! 2000).! Even! the! International! Criminal! Court! is! being! asked! to! consider! a!
!
similar! model! for! Truth! Commission! Amnesties! (Roche,! 2005)! in!
places!like!Northern!Ireland,!Namibia,!Burundi,!Bosnia!and!Kosovo!(Daniel,!2000).!!
Given!the!TRC's!iconic!status!as!well!as!its!institutional!importance!within!South!Africa,!Janine!
Rauch's!contribution!to!this!special!issue!on!police!reform!is!very!significant.!In!her!article,!
Rauch!tries!to!discover!whether!the!TRC!process!was!able!'prick!the!consciences'!of!the!police!
and!provide!them!with!a!new!rights!based!philosophy!of!the!world!and!of!policing.!She!asks!
whether!the!TRC!provided!the!police!with!a!new!framework!for!understanding!the!past!and!
the!future! and! in!reorientating! police! culture!and!practice.! These! are!important! questions!
given! that! the! TRC,! through! its! process! and! its! recommendations,! was! 'meant! to! help! to!
develop! a! human! rights! culture! in! South! Africa'! (Hamber! &! Kibbie!
http://www.csvr.org.za/paperslpapbhsk.htm).$!
Rauch! points! out! that! despite! comprehensive! amnesty! arrangements,! very! few! police!
members! opted! to! participate! in! the! TRC! by! applying! for! amnesty! and! engaging! in! truth!
telling.! In! addition,! Rauch! argues,! the! TRC! did! not! come! up! with! any! real! innovative!
contribution! to! police! reform! programmes.! The! TRC! police! reform! recommendations! that!
were!drawn!up!were!largely!a!reiteration!of!police!reform!processes!or!were!completely!out!
of! synch! with! the! direction! that! police! reform! was! taking.! She! suggests! that! this! may! be!
because!truth! commissioners!ran!out!of!time!in!writing!the!final!report!or! because!the!TRC!
was! constrained! by! its! own! very! limited! framework! for! understanding! policing! and! its!
possibilities.!or!because!the!TRC!itself!developed!a!silo!mentality!and!failed!to!take!account!
of!the!numerous!police!reform!initiatives!that!were!already!underway.!But!it!is!important!to!
remember! that! the! TRC! itself! was! constructed! within! a! political! context! of! a! negotiated!
settlement.! 'The! architects! of! state! repression! were! able! to! secure! a! large! measure! of!
immunity'!(Ellis,!2000:69)!and!so,!it!is!not!surprising!to!find!that!individual!police!did!not!feel!
the!need!to!responsibility!for!the!past.!
Individual!police!interviewed!by!Rauch!were!certainly!aware!of!the!TRC!and!its!findings.!Some!
indicated! embarrassment! at! the! past! brutalising! activities! of! the! police.! Some! expressed!
remorse!on! hearing! accounts!from!victims! and! the!police! while! others!felt!angered! at! the!
defilement!of!the!image!of!the!police.!Most!realised!that!the!police!would!never!again!be!able!
to!act!with! impunity.! that! they!would!be! watched! and! held!accountable!for!future! human!
rights!abuses.!Despite!this!awareness.!Rauch!points!out!that!for!police!transformation!to!take!
hold!a!rights!based!approach!to!policing!must!be!realised!which!includes!the!fostering!of!an!
accountability!ethos.!And,!as!we!have!seen!from!the!articles!by!Bruce!and!Newham,!a!human!
rights! ethic! has! not! yet! permeated! the! South! African! Police! Service.!
!
The! police,! as! Bayley! (1996)! asserts,! are! in! the! profession! of! pragmatism.! They! are! not!
ideologues.!They!are!most!likely!to!act!in!ways!that!show!results!and!that!keep!them!out!of!
trouble.!Their!pragmatic!standpoint!means!that!they!have!well!tested!recipes!of!what!works!
!
and!what!doesn't.!As!discussed!earlier,!the!police!will!not!easily!let!go!
of!deeply! embedded! cultural! knowledge! which!informs! their! understanding!of! their! work,!
their! environment! and! the! people! they! police! (Chan,! I996).! This! is! evidenced! by! the! high!
number!of!recorded!deaths!as!a!result!of!police!action!and!the!number!of!criminal!assaults!
carried!out!by!police!which!both!Rauch!and!Bruce!refer!to.!!
New!policies,!new!training!and!external!commissions!have!had!an!impact!on!police!thinking!
and!on!police!behaviour.!But!it!seems!that!what!is!still!required!are!new!techniques!for!getting!
police!to!search!within!themselves!and!to!find!new!ways!of!acting!by!reinforcing!the!positive!
outcomes! of! a! human! rights! approach! to! policing.! These! new! techniques! will! need! to! be!
informed!by!qualitative!studies!of!the!police!that!help!us!to!help!us!to!understand!first!hand!
how! police! have! experienced! the! transition! to! democracy! and! what! shapes! their!
consciousness.!These!studies!also!need!to!enlighten!us!as!to!how!far!the!police!are!prepared!
to! move! toward! new! practices! underpinned! by! a! human! rights! framework! that! is! at! once!
indigenous!and!global,!and!that!accounts!for!material!conditions!and!existing!power!relations.!!
Concluding$comments$$
What!is!clear!from!these!articles!is!that!police!reform!in!South!Africa!is,!even!at!a!quick!glance,!
incomplete.!On!closer!inspection.!it!could!be!argued!that!police!reform!is!misdirected.!In!large!
measure.!it!would! seem,!this!is!because!the!approaches! that! have!been!employed!to!bring!
about!police!change!have!their!roots!in!EuroYAmerican!understandings,!both!in!terms!of!their!
models! of! 'good! security! governance'! and! the! conventional! techniques! for! bringing! about!
change.! An! important! exception! is! the! Truth! and! Reconciliation! Commission! process! that!
Janine! Rauch! addresses.! This! process! is! grounded! within! African! value! systems! and! South!
African! understandings! of! collective! life.! in! particular! the! importance! of! sodal! ties! and!
associated!responsibilities.!A!shortcoming!in!the!work!of!the!TRC!itself!and!responses!to!it!is!
that! the! implications! of! the! TRC! for! police! and! policing! more! generally! have! not! been!
articulated!or!used!as!a!basis!for!reform.!!
In!our!view,!a!South!African!policing!reform!programme!should!in!the!future!take!inspiration!
from!the!TRC!and!ground!itself!more!explicitly!and!deliberately!within!an!African!and!South!
African!context.!President!Mbeki!and!others!involved!in!the!African!Renaissance!movement!
have!been!calling!for!precisely!this!in!building!new!South!African!institutions!that!are!founded!
upon!a!melding!of!African!and!global!understandings!of!humane!and!democratic!governance.!
How!is!this! to! be! done?!As!Bruce.!Newham.! van! der! Spuy!and!Altbecker!have! indicated,! a!
simplistic!reliance! on! training!and! policy! reformulation!that! seeks! to!insert! EuroYAmerican!
conceptions!of!institutions!and!techniques!of!criminal!justice!into!a!South!African!context!has!
failed!to!realise!the!promises!of!creating!effective.!just!and!reputable!policing.!!
There!is!a!tendency!in!the!international!debates!about!good!governance!to!conceptualise!this!
as! European! good! governance! conceiving! of! European! values! and! institutions! as! universal!
!
goods! that! can! be! used! as! evaluative! criteria! for! measuring!
governance!throughout!the!world.!It!is!necessary!to!bring!the!discussion!and!the!knowledge!
about! African! governance! and! democracy! out! of! this! discourse.! There! needs! to! be! a!
development!of!African!values!and!African!institutions!that!allow!these!values!to!be!realised!
in! ways! that! are! regionally! distinct! and! not! simply! a! replication! of! European! values! and!
principles.!Institutions! and!practices!need!to!be!distilled!and! crafted!on!the!basis!of!African!
experiences! and! suited! to! confront! contemporary! African! problems.! In! so! doing,! it! is!
necessary!to!look!beyond!South!Africa,!to!the!whole!of!Africa!(through!comparative!studies)!
and! to! think! of! innovative! ways! of! relating! these! values! to! emerging! universal! values! like!
'human!rights'!or! 'human! solidarity',! and!also!democracy!as! 'selfYdirection! and! 'respect! for!
dialogue',!etc.!!
What!is!perhaps!required!is!a!critical!look!back!at!European!origins!of!concepts!like!democracy!
which! are! grounded! in! Greek! notions! of! citizenship! that! are! highly! discriminatory! and!
inegalitarian.!Concurrently,!we!need!to!explore!historic!African!conceptions!of!integrative!and!
selfYdirected! governance! and! inject! these! into! contemporary! African! conceptions! of!
democracy! and! revival.! While! accountability! and! integrated! systems! are! key! to! more!
'democratic'! policing,! police! reform! agendas! are! likely! to! fail! if! the! peculiar! sociocultural!
realities!of!South!Africa!and!the!continent!are!not!taken!into!consideration.!!
References$!
Breytenback,! K.! &! Sapa.! 2005.! Municipal! strikers! run! rampant.! Cape$ Times.$ Cape! Town,! II!
August.!Bruce,!D.!2005.!Once!more!to!the!barricades.!Business$Day.$Johannesburg,!15!June.!
!
Chan,! J.! 1996.! Changing! police! culture.! British$ journal$ a(! Criminology,$ 36(! I):! I09Y133.!
!
Dixon,!B.!2004.$Community!policing:!'Cherry!Pie'!or!melktert?!Society$in$Transition,$35(2):!251Y
273.!!
Ellis,!S.!2000.!Truth!and!Reconciliation!of!South!Africa!Report.!Society$in$Transition,$42:57G61.$
$Fielding,!N.!1988.!joining$forces:$Police$training,$socialisation$and$occupational$competence.$
London:!Routledge.!
!
Graybill,!L.!&!Lanegran,!K.!2004.!Truth,!justice!and!reconciliation!in!Africa:!Issues!and!cases.!
African$ Studies$ Quarterly,$ 8(! I)! http://www.a(rica.ufl.edulasqlv8i1al.htm$
!
!
Holdaway,! S.! 1994.! Recruitment,! race! and! the! police! subculture.! In!
Stephens,!M.!and!Becker,!S.!(eds.).!Police$(force,$police$service:$Care$and$control!in$Britain.$
London:!MacMillan.!
!
Jones,!T.,!Newburn,!D.!&!Smith,!D.!1996.!Policing!and!the!idea!of!democracy.!British$journal$
of!Criminology,$36(2):!182Y198.!
Mamdani,!M.!2000.!A!diminished!truth.!In!James.!W.!and!van!de!Vijver,!L.!(eds.).!After!the$
TRC:$ Reflections$ on! truth$ and$ reconciliation$ in$ South$ Africa.$ Cape! Town:! David! Phillip.!
!
Neild,!R.!1999.! From! national! security!to!citizen!security:!Civil! society! and! the!evolution!of!
public! order! debates.! Paper! written! for! the! Intemational! Centre! for! Human! Rights! and!
Democratic! Development,! Montreal,! Canada.!
Reiner,! R.! 1992.! The$ politics$ of$ the$ police.$ London:! Harvester! Wheatsheaf.!
!
Shearing,!C.!&!Ericson,!R.! (1991).! Culture! as! figurative! action.! British$ journal$ o(Criminology,$
42:481506.!
!
Southgate,! P.! 1988.! New$ directions$ in$ police$ training.$ London:! Home! Office! Research! and!
Planning! Unit.!
!
Templeton,! A! &! Maphumulo,! S.! 2005.! Immigrants! are! getting! a! raw! deal.! The$ Star.$
Johannesburg,!20!June.!!
!
Book
Cambridge Core - Statistics for Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences and Law - Measuring Justice - by Johanna Mugler
Article
The South African Police Service (SAPS), like other policing institutions, is often associated with exaggerated and narrowly hegemonic ‘masculinity’ in which aggressiveness, dominance, fortitude, emotional composure, resilience and an emphasis on physicality are pervasive ideals. Police officers are often perceived to embody these ideals, but few researchers have focused on how this masculinity is experienced by police officers. Semi-structured interviews and in situ observations were conducted at a large police station in the Western Cape. Thematic analysis concentrated on how ‘ideal masculinity’ is both portrayed and embodied by police officers. This type of masculinity was found to be a core value in the SAPS and, in some instances, negatively impacts the organisation's functioning. These ideals excluded women from field duties, provided a context in which, in some cases, inappropriate sexual approaches were implicitly permissible, and were a platform for police officers’ dissatisfaction with their duties. While traditionally ‘masculine’ values are important, a culture assuming that these values are ideal and exclusive to men (and exceptional women) was problematic. Further, an overly masculine culture undermined traditionally feminine-associated values; regardless of their value and position in official policy. The research emphasises the importance of a more androgynous and heterogeneous gender culture in the police service.
Article
Full-text available
This essay identifies a number of problematic issues concerning transitional justice restorative justice in particular and suggests that they can be fruitfully explored through thoughtful examination of the truth-seeking projects of this issue's case countries: South Africa, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. One debate is whether political transitions genuinely require a unique type of justice or whether transitional justice results from a mere political choice which compromises justice. A second issue concerns transitional justice's goals. Related to this issue is the lack of clarity concerning the criteria for a successful transitional judicial structure. A third debate is whether truth commissions do actually bring healing and reconciliation among former enemies. Finally, there is a set of very practical concerns that need attention: what are the ideal balances between trials and truth commissions, domestic and international initiatives, efficiency and effectiveness?
Chapter
The rapid rate of technological change both poses a challenge to trainers and offers technological tools to meet the challenge. Educational technology is to be understood broadly as a set of tools for the design of effective education. Essential steps in establishing a training programme are the identification of training objectives, design of the learning situation and evaluation/improvement of the training. Training methods (large group, small group, individual) should be distinguished from the media used (human, real, video, audio, computer, print). A shift to individual learning is taking place and appropriate media with computer support, hinging around the programmed instruction concept is a recommended approach. Mixed media packages are considered the best. A future technology with much potential for training is the computer-controlled videodisc. Open and distance learning employing individualized learning methods should be used by CADCAM suppliers since this form of training is most convenient for the user.
Article
Police culture is used as the substantive focus for a critique of the conception of culture as a set of rules that generate action, and as a basis for developing an alternative model. Ideas from anthropological and literary theory are used to propose a conception of culture as a figurative resource made available through stories that construct a sensibility out of which action arises.
Article
This paper reviews the concept of police culture and its utility for analysing the impact of police reform. The persistence of police culture has been considered a serious obstacle to reform, but the concept itself has been poorly defined and is of little analytic value. Drawing on Bourdieu's concepts of ‘field’ and ‘habitus’ and adopting a framework developed by Sackmann, this paper suggests a new way of conceptualizing police culture, one which recognizes its interpretive and creative aspects, as well as the legal and political context of police work. Thus, police culture results from an interaction between the ‘field’ of policing and the various dimensions of police organizational knowledge. The utility of this framework is discussed in relation to a case study of reforming police/minorities relations in Australia.
Article
Taking Brogden's (1999:167) claim that community policing is ‘as American as cherry pie’ as its starting point, the article traces the development of community policing in South Africa since the dying days of apartheid in the mid 1980s. For analytical purposes this period is divided up into three phases: prefiguration, transition and consolidation. Although state policing provided by the South African Police (later Police Service) is the main focus of the review, it is argued that developments can usefully be seen in terms of the changing and contingent resolution of tensions between: competing civil and state-centred notions of community policing; between reactive crime-fighting or law enforcement, and proactive community-based or problem-oriented, approaches to state policing; and, finally, between more or less aggressive accounts of state-centred community policing. An extended conclusion considers the current state of community policing in South Africa and suggests that, while it is yet to become as South African as melktert, it is not quite as American as ‘cherry pie’ either.