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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Democracy & its discontents: vigilantism, sovereignty & human rights in South Africa
Author:Buur, LarsISNI
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:vigilante groups
human rights
corporal punishment
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03056240802569250
Abstract:This article argues that due to the particular position of crime in South Africa, the resurgence of vigilantism needs to be re-evaluated in light of the country's attempt at institutionalizing human rights as the new society's founding values. Because many township dwellers see vigilantes as their protection against crime, vigilantism should be seen as a criticism of and a comment on human rights as the new expression of the country's most intimate values. The article begins by introducing an ethnographic case study of a vigilante group from Port Elizabeth's townships, which has become incorporated as an official 'safety and security' structure under the Community Policing Forum. The article suggests that fighting crime relates to wider questions of the perceived need for discipline and corporal punishment in response to the erosion of social authority. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]