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Spaces of violence, places of fear: Urban conflict in post-apartheid South Africa

by Bronwyn Harris

Paper presented on the Conflicts and Urban Violence panel, Foro Social Mundial Tematico, Cartagena, Colombia, 16-20 June 200 ! Bronwyn Harris is a "ormer Pro#ect Manager at the Centre "or the Stud$ o" %iolence and &econciliation! 't is perhaps a clich( to suggest that the more things change, the more the$ sta$ the same! )ut, nine $ears a"ter South *"rica+s "irst democratic elections, ,e still hear o" racial polari-ation and hatred ,ithin communities! 'ne.ualit$, po/ert$ and access to #ustice remain 0e$ obstacles to establishing a human rights culture! 1igh le/els o" /iolence continue to mar0 the societ$2 and mistrust, suspicion and "ear de"ine man$ inter-personal relationships! Contrar$ to the popular representation o" South *"rica as a 3miracle3 nation, high le/els o" /iolence testi"$ that a post-apartheid South *"rica is not con"lict-"ree! The more things sta$ the same, ho,e/er, the more the$ also change! This is e/ident in the man$ positi/e changes that separate the ne, South *"rica "rom the old4 the criminali-ation o" racism, an internationall$ acclaimed Constitution, and s$stems and institutions that protect and promote human rights! )ut, alongside these positi/es, ne, "orms o" con"lict and pre#udice ha/e also emerged, "or e5ample, 5enophobic hostilit$ to,ards "oreigners, e5tralegal /igilante actions o" 3crime "ighting3, and socio-economic struggles around issues o" land and ser/ices! Social e5planations, understandings and engagement ,ith issues o" /iolence ha/e also changed ,ith South *"rica+s transition! 'n the past, /iolence ,as largel$ "ramed as 3political3, both on the part o" the apartheid state and through resistance to it! )$ contrast, /iolence toda$ is commonl$ 6and simplisticall$7 labelled 3criminal3 6c"! Simpson, 20017! Such a discursi/e shi"t has rede"ined not onl$ /iolence but issues o" crime, legitimac$ and #ustice! 'n the process, it has criminalised certain "orms o" /iolence but has simultaneousl$ opened a space "or 8 and legitimised - ne, /iolent actions 6"or e5ample 3crime "ighting37! These ne, trends and e5planations o" con"lict, together ,ith the persistence o" old patterns o" /iolence, threaten South *"rica+s "ragile democrac$! The$ challenge the notion that legislated change and a human rights "rame,or0 ,ill automaticall$ bring an end to /iolence ,ithin an alread$ /iolent, militarised societ$! The persistence o" /iolence ,ithin South *"rica also highlights ,hat has been termed a 3culture o" /iolence3 ,ithin the countr$ 6c"! Simpson, Mo0,ena 9 Segal, 1::22 1amber, 1::;7! Such a culture, ,herein /iolence is upheld as the primar$ 3solution3 to dail$ problems and challenges, necessitates the introduction o" indi/idual identit$ and group norms, as ,ell as structural and material "actors, into an understanding o" /iolence during political transition! This paper e5plores South *"rica+s culture o" /iolence2 it engages ,ith trends, patterns and e5pressions o" con"lict in the post-apartheid nation! <ra,ing on research conducted b$ the

Centre "or the Stud$ o" %iolence and &econciliation 6CS%&7, an =>? based in Johannesburg, it re"lects on some o" the continuities and changes in /iolence o/er the nation+s transition "rom apartheid to democrac$! *s such, it is situated ,ithin CS%&+s general theoretical and research orientation, ,hich is underpinned b$ the "ollo,ing .uestions4

1o, does the past continue to impact on the trends o" /iolence that de"ine postapartheid South *"rica@ 1o, has the process o" democrac$ itsel" created a space "or the e5pression o" /iolence@ Ahat has been the role o" transitional #ustice institutions such as the Truth and &econciliation Commission 6T&C7 on contemporar$ mani"estations o" /iolence@ *nd ho, does /iolence 8 and the "ear thereo" 8 mani"est in "urther /iolence@

Ahile the scope o" this paper is restricted and thus these .uestions cannot be "ull$ engaged ,ith, it is important that the$ are introduced as a point o" orientation! 'n addition, these .uestions are set against the bac0drop o" urban li/ing, ,here space is represented as both a re"lection o", and a conduit "or, /iolence!1 The$ are also highlighted through anecdotes told b$ members o" certain constituencies, namel$, "oreigners, school going $outh, e5combatants and /igilantes! These particular groupings ha/e been chosen because o" their pro5imit$ to con"lict - either in the past andBor at present! We still live in the past The clearl$ delineated boundaries and racialised spaces created b$ apartheid geograph$ did not automaticall$ dissol/e ,ith the >roup *reas *ct and related legislation! &ather, space embodies a persistent barrier to creating a deracialised societ$ and promoting a meaning"ul human rights culture in South *"rica! This is because space continues to de"ine access to resources, ser/ices and land2 patterns o" inclusion and e5clusion2 and relationships o" po,er 8 both bet,een socio-economic and political +groups+ and ,ithin speci"ic communities! Space also shapes inter-personal relationships and "actors o" identit$! Most simplisticall$, this can be seen through the ,a$s that race still predominates ,ithin these relationships, although the less ob/ious 6$et highl$ /isible7 +isms+ o" apartheid identit$ -class, gender, nationalit$ and age- also pla$ out in the arrangements o" space! 'dentit$ represents one ,a$ o" e5ploring the high le/els o" urban /iolence in contemporar$ South *"rica, both bet,een communities and ,ithin them! >ender identit$, "or e5ample, impacts on e5periences o" cit$ li"e in general 6through access to resources, sa"et$, opportunit$ etc!7! Spea0ing o" migration to Johannesburg, Palmar$, &auch 9 Simpson 6200 7 note that, The e5perience o" migration to the cit$ is but one "actor in the process o" marginali-ation, a process e5perienced di""erentl$ b$ di""erent groups! For e5ample, the s$stem o" pass la,s ,as implemented di""erentl$ "or men and ,omen resulting in gendered patterns o" migration! These e5periences pla$ themsel/es out through /iolent con"licts ,ithin and bet,een marginali-ed communities, rather than #ust in the e5plicit con"licts bet,een those in po,er and those on the margins! >ender also pla$s a 0e$ role in the e5perience o" /iolence 6in terms o" both perpetration

and /ictimisation patterns7! For e5ample, >ear 620027 e5plains that "or e5 combatants 6dra,n "rom across the political spectrum7, notions o" masculinit$ coupled ,ith unresol/ed trauma, can translate into /iolence, particularl$ ,ithin the domestic conte5t4 ?ngoing aggression and /iolence Ccan2D pla$ out in a /ariet$ o" social en/ironments! )ars and ta/erns, "or e5ample E ! )ut E the most commonl$ reported site o" this aggression is the home or personal en/ironment! CThis ,as con"irmed b$ "ocus groups ,ith "emale partnersBrelati/es o" e5 combatantsD! %iolent perpetration against their partners and relati/es is, "or these respondents, tied directl$ to the e5perience o" demobili-ation! 't is located ,ithin South *"rica+s transition a,a$ "rom a clearl$ de"ined notion o" masculinit$ 6+,ith guns and all+7 to one ,hich is caught up in marginalisation, high le/els o" unemplo$ment and "eelings o" betra$al and alienation 6but still +,ith guns and all+7 6>ear, 20027! The articulation o" domestic /iolence as a product o" and response to political transition 6an articulation ,hich is closel$ lin0ed ,ith attempts to #usti"$ /iolent beha/iour, on the part o" certain respondents7 suggests a comple5 lin0 bet,een identit$ 63,hat it means to be a man37, social discourse 6itsel" in transition7 and space 6a displacement o" /iolence "rom the militar$ battle"ield to the domestic setting7! Spaces 8 both public and pri/ate 8 are consistentl$ imbued ,ith the +isms+ o" transition! The relationship bet,een urban li/ing, identit$ and /iolence is not straight"or,ard! &ace, so closel$ intert,ined ,ith class, pro/ides one la$er o" anal$sis, but the post-apartheid cit$ is not onl$ about race 6and it has ne/er been7! 1o,e/er, the racialisation o" space "re.uentl$ dominates the ,a$s in ,hich /iolence is understood and interpreted! *t the same time, race is o"ten rendered in/isible in constructions o" contemporar$ urban /iolence, e/en in cases ,here it pla$s a 0e$ role! 't goes be$ond the scope o" this paper to unra/el the multiple "actors that intersect at a /iolence-space con"luence! 1o,e/er, it is interesting to consider the ,a$s in ,hich race does and doesn+t "eed into understandings o" /iolence! Consider the "ollo,ing anecdote4 'n a recent ,or0shop, CS%& as0ed >rade 10 Fearners 616 $ear olds7 about identit$! This ,or0shop ,as part o" our bigger pro#ect on citi-enship, race and reconciliation in the postT&C era and ,e ,ere interested to hear ,hether there ,as an$ engagement ,ith issues o" race and histor$! The learners ,ere dra,n "rom schools across the racial and economic spectrum ,ithin Johannesburg! Ae as0ed the .uestion4 3,ho are $ou@3, e5pecting the learners to engage ,ith the general ri"ts and di/isions o" the past and present 8 "or e5ample, 3' am a bo$Bgirl3, 3blac0B,hite3 etc! 'nstead, all o" the learners 8 "rom across the schools 8 "ocused on issues o" sa"et$, /iolence and "ear! The e/er$da$ .ualit$ o" /iolence in their li/es reall$ shoc0ed us4 3?ur headbo$ ,as shot in the head on %alentine+s da$3, 3Four pupils ,ere murdered b$ gangs last $ear3, 3* girl in m$ class ,as raped ,hen she ,as ,al0ing home "rom school3! ?n one hand, the learners ,ere stri0ingl$ blas( and unre"lecti/e about the e5tent to ,hich /iolence ,as part o" their identit$4 3' am surrounded b$ /iolence3! ?n the other hand, ho,e/er, their response to the .uestion4 3,ho are $ou@3 spo0e o" "ear and insecurit$4 3' am

a"raid3, 3' am unsa"e3! Ahat struc0 us also 8 both ,ithin the same ,or0shop and across the more detailed classroom inter/entions that the CS%& race-$outh team has been in/ol/ed ,ith 8 ,as the e5tent to ,hich 3the past3 is 0ept e5actl$ there 6Ma0halemele, Mole,a 9 %al#i, personal communication7! 't is held out as a boring ob#ect o" histor$, something ,hich has no bearing on ,ho the learners are or ,here the$ hope to go! *s %al#i 6in personal communication7 suggests, instead o" relating their present da$ circumstances 6including high le/els o" /iolence and ine.ualit$7 to the nation+s histor$, the children, both blac0 and ,hite, located them ,ithin personal attributes and indi/idual characteristics, such as 3courage3 or 3"ailure3 6This is in 0eeping ,ith the indi/idualism o" an imported consumerist identit$ discussed belo,7! 'n a ,or0shop deliberatel$ designed to elicit attitudes and opinions on race, racial reconciliation and identit$, $ou can see ,h$ it ,as a shoc0 ,hen none o" these issues ,ere directl$ engaged ,ith! 'nstead, the 2 discourses that did emerge 8 those o" sa"et$Be5posure to /iolence, and a deconte5tualised 6and b$ implication, deracialised7 sense o" histor$ suggest that ,e need to thin0 /er$ care"ull$ about the conte5t in ,hich racist /iolence 8 and /iolence in general - is ta0ing place in South *"rica, in order to better understand and thereb$ address it! This is a complicated conte5t and this paper cannot engage ,ith it in detail! 1o,e/er, it is "ull o" contradictions! ?n one hand, certain actions 8 the e5tremes - are t$picall$ labeled as racist /iolence! This is because the$ cannot be interpreted as an$thing else 8 "or e5ample, the recent case o" de Aet Grit-inger ,ho, in Ma$ 200 , ,as con/icted o" murder "or his racist 0illing spree in 2000! 1e ,as gi/en li"e sentences "or the murder o" blac0 commuters, plus H0 $ears "or the attempted murder o" H other passengers on a Pretoria bus! 3Judge <ion )asson termed Grit-inger+s actions racist, unscrupulous and un#usti"iable E the #udicial s$stem recogni-ed the human dignit$ and e.ualit$ o" each citi-en, )asson said! 3Iou trampled upon these principles b$ 0illing people because the$ ,ere blac03! &elati/es o" the /ictims said the$ ,ere happ$ about the sentence3 6de )eer, 200 7! ?n the other hand, ho,e/er, the general conte5t o" /iolence 8 ,hat could be called a culture o" /iolence coupled ,ith a particular "orm o" social silence about racism, allo,s a number o" actions to slip through the crac0s and resist the label o" racist /iolence, e/en i" that is e5actl$ ,hat the$ are! These are the +smaller+, e/er$da$ actions o" pre#udice that "l$ beneath the radar! *t the same time, man$ other "orms o" /iolence are represented in race terms e/en although the$ are not labeled in blac0 and ,hite /ocabular$! For e5ample, 3the hi#ac0er3, commonl$ means 3the $oung, blac0, male criminal3 in ,hite suburbia! *lthough there is a deliberate omission o" 3race3 "rom this discourse, the e5perience o" /iolence and crime are represented in racialised terms none-the-less! Sometimes, crime and /iolence are gi/en a more o/ertl$ racialised interpretation! For e5ample, certain o" >ear+s 620027 "ormer ,hite conscripts toda$ 3percei/e crime to be structured along racial lines, and consider Ahites to be the primar$ /ictims E ! For them, /iolent crime represents the most po,er"ul component o" a broader assault against the ,hite population, and particularl$ ,hite males3! Ahile this is a perception that can "uel a reactionar$ and racist agenda, it can be di""icult to separate 3race3 "rom 3crime3 in certain cases! For e5ample, in their inter/ie,s ,ith $oung blac0 gangsters 63*magents37, Segal, Pelo 9 &ampa 620017 e5plain that4

Man$ o" the *magents+ narrati/es gi/e /ent to a deep bitterness and resentment about racial in#ustices in South *"rica! 'n the minds o" most inter/ie,ees, the line bet,een the ha/es and ha/e-nots is still a racial one! Most are unapologetic about their racial attitudes and "eel that ,hite people are getting ,hat the$ deser/e i" the$ are /ictims o" crime! 'n a conte5t ,here race has, "or so long structured relationships, created and sustained social di/isions, and in"ormed interpretations o" /iolence, a 0e$ challenge "or tac0ling racist /iolence is ho, to spea0 about it! 'ndeed, ho, to recogni-e it@ 'n a ,a$ that is meaning"ul! This is a challenge as much "or the direct /ictims o" racist /iolence, as the societ$ at large, because along ,ith the man$ other complications, race has that peculiar 3in/isible3 .ualit$, particularl$ in a changed social order that outla,s o/ert racism! 'n a saniti-ed 3politicall$ correct3 "orm it is di""icult to pin do,n! This .ualit$ can ma0e it di""icult to articulate "or someone ,ho is a /ictim! * related challenge "or a legal "rame,or0 intent on tac0ling racist /iolence, is ho, to pro/e that racism ,as the moti/ation behind a /iolent act 6c"! 1arris, upcoming7! More generall$, the lin0s bet,een space, race and identit$ need to be care"ull$ thought-out, gi/en the shi"ting and creati/e nature o" racism, as ,ell as raciall$ moti/ated /iolence, itsel"! Temporary spaces Aithin South *"rica+s urban centres, there has been some migration bet,een the "ormerl$ designated 3blac03, 3,hite3, 3'ndian3 and 3coloured3 neighbourhoods, but this has been restricted! Spatial transgression o" racialised areas is more commonl$ a temporar$ or transitor$ phenomenon, ,ith people mo/ing into and out o" their schooling or ,or0ing spaces, and bac0 to their racialised li/ing -ones, on a short term 6dail$7 basis! This temporar$ desegregation o" space has initiated certain "orms o" con"lict, "or e5ample, schools, as spaces o" urban 3integration3, ha/e been mar0ed b$ racial polarisation and sometimes /iolence! The transmission o" discrimination 6generational and spatial7, at times ,ith /iolent e5pression, suggests that /ictimisation patterns can rein"orce old lines o" social di/ision ,ithin ne, spaces o" social interaction! *s such, /igilance is needed to identi"$ the ne, opportunities that integration 6and, inad/ertentl$, democratisation7 o""ers to pre#udice and /iolence! Similarl$, be$ond the direct con"ines o" the school$ard, learners report racialised harassment at the hands o" communit$ members, as the$ mo/e in and out o" their schooling en/ironment4 3>o bac0 home! Ae don+t ,ant $ou in our area3 6blac0 school children, ,aiting "or public transport a"ter school, told to lea/e coloured suburb, &&P "ocus groups 8 Mole,a, in personal communication7 &e"ugee children, particularl$ those "rom other *"rican countries, report similar le/els o" hostilit$ "rom their 3host communities3, as ,ell as their school mates and teachers! Man$ do not e/en attend school, primaril$ because o" 5enophobic attitudes and misunderstandings o" the la, on the part o" educators, ,ho den$ re"ugees and as$lum see0ers their right to education! Their e5periences, coupled ,ith those o" South *"rican school children ,ho mo/e 8 geographicall$ and thereb$ 3raciall$3 -bet,een school and home suggest that racism in South *"rica is a comple5 phenomenon2 it cannot be reduced to 3blac0 and ,hite3 issues alone!

Iouth stories also gi/e insight into the comple5it$ o" /iolence perpetration! For e5ample, inter/ie,s ,ith $oung hi#ac0ers testi"$ to the importation o" a consumerist global order, along ,ith a particular set o" identit$ criteria 6"lash$ cars, designer clothing, gangstaculture7 6Segal, Pelo 9 &ampa, 20017! Together ,ith "actors such as high le/els o" unemplo$ment, socio-economic e5clusion, communit$ marginalisation, and eroded "amil$ relationships, this e5pression o" identit$, commonl$ associated ,ith gang membership, has, "or certain $oung South *"ricans, resulted in the /alourisation o" crime and the adoption o" a 3"ast li/ing3 li"est$le 6Segal, Pelo 9 &ampa, 20017! ovin! Spaces 't is also important to recognise the potential "or /iolence along the routes that carr$ people bet,een spaces o" +integration+! <ugard+s 620017 anal$sis o" the minibus ta5i industr$ ,ithin the Aestern Cape suggests that there ,as an increase in /iolent ta5i practise o/er the period 1:;J-1:::! For e5ample, in 1::1, there ,ere 12 recorded deaths and 1K6 in#uries, in 1::6, 12 deaths and 616 in#uries, and in 1:::, 2K; deaths and 2;J in#uries 6<ugard, 20017! This pattern, she e5plains, is a conse.uence o" /arious "actors, including the process o" political transition4 Prior to 1::H, these ta5i ,ars ,ere relati/el$ "e, in number and ,ere predominantl$ lin0ed to state-orchestrated /iolence! Since then, ho,e/er, ta5i /iolence has become more ,idespread, decentralised and criminal in character! )ehind this shi"t are changes in the organisation o" the ta5i industr$ that broadl$ re"lect the e/ol/ing relationship bet,een state and societ$ in postapartheid South *"rica 6<ugard, 20017! <ugard 620017 posits that state deregulation o" the ta5i industr$ has solidi"ied andBor challenged old patterns o" economic pri/ilege and social control through the "ormation o" ne, ta5i associations called 3mother bodies3! 3*s the state+s control o/er the econom$ and societ$ has ,ea0ened in the course o" South *"rica+s transition, ta5i associations ha/e de/eloped as in"ormal agents o" regulation, protection and e5tortion3! She e5plains that 3much o" the ta5i /iolence in the CAestern CapeD has related to "euds bet,een ne, ri/al mother bodies3! 't goes be$ond the scope o" this paper to e5plore minibus ta5i /iolence in detail! &ather, this "orm o" /iolence has been introduced as a reminder that spatial mo/ement itsel" can be a""ected b$ changing "orms o" /iolence! *nd /iolence, in turn, is lin0ed to changing political and socio-economic patterns!H "ivin! spaces Suburbs ,here racialised li/ing barriers ha/e bro0en do,n similarl$ hold the opportunit$ "or the emergence o" ne, "orms o" con"lict! These include racist tensions 6and sometimes clashes7 bet,een old and ne, residents and ne, "orms o" pre#udicial discourse around 3declining ser/ices3 and 3standards3! 6This is not to suggest that rural areas, small to,ns and unintegrated urban spaces do not also su""er "rom similar discourses and tensions, ho,e/er!7 1igh le/els o" /iolence ha/e also sustained and encouraged the laager 6"ortress7 mentalit$ o" colonial and apartheid South *"rica! Forti"ied li/ing continues to impact on the shape o" /iolence ,ithin the countr$! Much o" this is unregulated and "alls outside the ambit o" the state and the la,! The pri/ate securit$ industr$, "or e5ample, has gro,n substantiall$!

Lstimates suggest an increase 3"rom &1H1 million 6MSN1K million7 in 1:J; to &; billion 6MSN1 billion73 in 1::: 6Schonteich, 1:::, .uoted in 1amber, 1:::7! 3There are at least t,ice as man$ securit$ guards as policemen in the countr$3 6='M, 1::J, .uoted in 1amber, 1:::7! 3Man$ o" these guards are poorl$ trained and armed, and the securit$ industr$ is poorl$ regulated3 61amber, 1:::7! 'n certain cases, "ormer apartheid securit$ "orce members ha/e mo/ed into the pri/ate securit$ industr$! This has resulted in a transposition o" puniti/e and /iolent policing methods "rom the old order, into a ne, "orm! 'n communities that cannot a""ord the ser/ices o" "ormal pri/ate securit$ companies, /igilantes claiming to 3"ight crime3 are common!K &anging "rom organised groups in certain communities to more spontaneous 3membership3 in others, /igilantes threaten the rule o" la, in South *"rica2 the$ undermine due process and commonl$ deplo$ /iolent methods as #udge, #ur$ and 6o"ten7 e5ecutioner rolled into one! 1istoricall$, /igilantism is not a ne, phenomenon in South *"rica! 'ncidents o" 3mob #ustice3 occurred ,ith regularit$ throughout colonial and apartheid South *"rica 6c"! 1a$som, 1:;67! 1arris 62001b7 notes that ,hile /igilante methods ha/e generall$ remained consistent across the period 1:;0-2000, ,hat has changed are the de"initions and e5planations o" ,hat constitutes /igilante /iolence! )e"ore the countr$+s democratic elections in 1::H, /igilantism ,as generall$ associated ,ith political /iolence! 'n the 1:;0s, it ,as a label that described political actions conducted in support o" the apartheid state, and ,as thus closel$ associated ,ith conser/ati/e, right-,ing acti/it$ 6c"! 1a$som, 1:;62 )ruce 9 Gomane, 1:::7! )et,een 1::0 and 1::H, /igilantism ,as still applied to politicall$ moti/ated /iolence but it e5panded be$ond purel$ conser/ati/e actions to include /iolence that ,as other,ise 3une5plainable3 at the time 6c"! Je""re$, 1::22 Coleman, 1::;7! )$ contrast, /igilantism post-1::H has 6largel$7 been described ,ith re"erence to crime 8 particularl$ +crime"ighting+ 8 instead o" politics! 'n the past, /igilantism ,as "ramed in political terms2 in the present /igilante /iolence is t$picall$ presented as a response to "ighting crime! 't is #usti"ied 6b$ /igilantes themsel/es7 as a response to a "ailing criminal #ustice s$stem 6CJS7 and +legitimised+ as 3"illing a policing gap3 61arris, 2001b7! &eal and percei/ed challenges that "ace the criminal #ustice s$stem in post-apartheid South *"rica include high le/els o" mistrust bet,een communities and the policeBcourts, limited resources, ine""icienc$, corruption and ongoing abuse o" po,er 6including torture and ph$sical /iolence7! There is also a popular perception that 3criminals ha/e more rights than la, abiding citi-ens3 and that the criminal #ustice s$stem is seen to 3protect3 criminals, at the e5pense o" crime /ictims 6c"! 1arris, 2001b7! This perception is commonl$ rein"orced b$ political statements and 3crime "ighting3 rhetoric, "rom high pro"ile public "igures to communit$-based organisations! These send out contradictor$ messages about the /alue o" due process and acti/el$ "eed a culture o" impunit$!

#riminal $ustice system %fact file%

Please note4 )ecause o" a go/ernment moratorium on the release o" crime statistics, the most recent o""icial "igures are dated September 2001 6,ith some to March 2002 and a "e, generalised 3trends3, ,hich ha/e been bandied about in parliament7!

#rime Statistics

&eported crime increased b$ 1O to 2 K1K ;0; incidents across the period *pril 2001-March 2002 %iolent crime increased b$ O across the period 1::H-2001 South *"rican Police Ser/ice 6S*PS7 claim that crime le/els are 3stabilising3 Murder rates decreased b$ 1;O "rom 1: JJ2 in 1::H to 1K 0HK in 2001 ?/er 21 000 people ,ere 0illed bet,een *pril 2001 8 March 2002 'n 1::;, South *"rica had the highest murder rates 6K: per 100 0007 on 'nterpol+s countr$ list 6Masu0u, 200 7
&rison Statistics

South *"rica+s current prison capacit$ is 110 ;JH! )$ end Ma$ 200 , there ,ere 1;J JH; prisoners 8 J1O o/ercro,ding! *,aiting trial prisoners account "or 0O o" the prison population! )et,een 1::6 and 2002 the number o" prisoners ser/ing sentences increased as "ollo,s4 Fi"e4 "rom 2 :K1 to K K0K 20 $ears4 "rom 1 ;;K to J ;;K 1K-20 $ears4 "rom 2 660 to ; KK 10-1K $ears4 "rom 6 16; to 1; :K6 2-10 $ears4 "rom 61 1;1 to 6; H1; =atural deaths in prison ha/e increased "rom 1!6K per 1000 prisoners in 1::K to J!JK per 1000 in 20022 primaril$ due to 1'%B*ids 6Minister o" Correctional Ser/ices )udget Speech, 200 7
'uns

?ctober 20024 6KH H H "irearm licenses ?n a/erage, 2 000 licensed "irearms are stolen or lost per month 6>un Control *lliance, a/ailable online7 Ahile there are real and practical "ailings ,ithin the criminal #ustice s$stem, 1arris 62001b7 e5plains that /igilante /iolence is not one singular phenomenon and it cannot be e5plained solel$ ,ith re"erence to the la,! There are a number o" "actors - be$ond "ailings ,ithin the criminal #ustice s$stem 6CJS7 8 that might underpin /igilante /iolence! ?n "actor is the role o" the countr$+s political transition itsel", ,hich has generated a 3gap3 6easil$ "illed b$ /igilantes7 bet,een oppressi/e, hea/$ handed policing in the past and the 6attempted7 implementation o" a human rights culture toda$! The transition has also created high le/els o" e5pectation about democrac$, ,hich, ,hen not met, ha/e translated into "rustration and disappointment 6another gap that /igilantes commonl$ "ill7 61arris, 2001b7! (ear in the city %igilante /iolence pi/ots on "ear and "re.uentl$ creates a silencing e""ect ,ithin communities 61arris, 2001b7! %igilantes ma$ interpret and e5ploit communit$ silence as

tacit support "or their actions, but inter/ie,s ,ith a""ected communit$ members suggest that "ear o" /ictimisation 6at the hands o" /igilantes7 is a more li0el$ silencer 6c"! /on Schnit-ler et al, 20017! 'n the short term, "ear 6o" /igilante punishment7 ma$ contribute to a decline in crime ,ithin a speci"ic area! 1o,e/er, this is usuall$ highl$ localised and it ser/es to displace crime to surrounding neighbourhoods! 'n the long term, it ma$ also result in the return o" crime 8 but this time more /iolent in nature - to the initiall$ a""ected area!6 %igilante practices highlight perceptions about the criminal #ustice s$stem and e5pectations about democrac$! 'n addition, /igilantism and re/enge /iolence also point to the destabilisation o" old patterns o" pri/ilege and the emergence o" ne, sites o" con"lict! 'n ?ctober 2001, more than ;00 Pimbab,eans "led "rom the Pandspruit in"ormal settlement in Johannesburg, a"ter their homes ,ere burnt 6at least 112 ,ere destro$ed7 and their belongings looted 6=daba 9 Galideen, 20017! Pandspruit residents E said the communit$ had agreed to chase a,a$ the Pimbab,eans and burn do,n e/er$thing that belonged to them! The$ said the communit$ ,ere angr$ that the Pimbab,eans ,ere emplo$ed, ,hile hundreds o" local citi-ens ,ere #obless! The$ also claimed that Pimbab,eans ,ere in/ol/ed in a series o" armed robberies, rapes and muggings 6=daba, 2001, a/ailable online7 'n Ma$ 200 , t,o men, one o" ,hom ,as a Mo-ambican citi-en, ,ere rounded up and nec0laced to death 6on the accusation that the$ ,ere 3criminals37 b$ a large cro,d in )raam"ischer/ille! 'n <ecember 1::;, health ,or0er >ugu <lamini ,as stoned and beaten to death b$ 3a mob ,ho accused her o" degrading her neighbourhood b$ disclosing that she C,as 1'% positi/eD3 6Gort#as 9 Msomi, 1::;7! %igilante targets 8 still 3criminals3 in some cases but 3outsiders3 coupled ,ith pre#udice, in others - re"lect the creati/e strategies o" both /iolence and pre#udice ,ithin South *"rica+s period o" transition! )utsiders and newcomers <emocratisation has introduced 3ne, comers3 in the "orm o" re"ugees and as$lum see0ers, to South *"rica+s ma#or cities! &e"ugees in South *"rica are urban based, unli0e their counterparts ,ho li/e in camps in man$ other countries! The urban nature o" as$lum has brought particular challenges to a countr$ that is ill prepared "or dealing ,ithB,elcoming re"ugees! These include mani"estations o" 5enophobia on the cit$ streets, mostl$ at the hands o" police and other public o""icials 61arris, 2001a7! &e"ugees commonl$ cite harassment, briber$ and the destruction o" documents, as ,ell as more e5treme instances o" ph$sical /iolence, b$ those intended to protect them! 'n addition, members o" the public, it seems are united in their disli0e o" "oreigners, particularl$ blac0 *"ricans! &epresented as bringing chaos and disease, seen as competitors "or #obs, re"ugees are o"ten targets "or /iolent clashes ,ith street /endors and communit$ members in general 61arris, 2001a7! For "oreigners, residential patterns o" li/ing in South *"rica are largel$ connected to issues o" sa"et$ and securit$ 6Sinclair, 1::;2 Morris, 1:::7 The general climate o" 5enophobia is re"lected in 3clusters3 o" nationalities ,ithin certain areas, particularl$ inner cit$ spaces, such as 1illbro, and )erea in Johannesburg 6Morris, 1:::7! Sinclair 61::;7 points out that li/ing-space-clusters ser/e not onl$ to ease the social transition "or "oreigners, the$ also

"unction as a de"ence against the hostilit$ and crime that /ulnerable ne,comers "ace! 1o,e/er, 1arris 62001a7 e5plains that such 3clustering3 can parado5icall$ attract /iolence and crime, because South *"ricans generall$ 0no, ,here to "ind /ulnerable "oreign /ictims2 as a police o""icer e5plains4 31illbro, is the *TM o" South *"rica3 61arris, 2001a7! &e"ugees+ e5periences o" 5enophobia at the hands o" the South *"rican Police Ser/ice 6S*PS7, as ,ell as members o" the public, suggest that pre#udice is still ri"e 8 both institutionall$ and indi/iduall$! Most /ictims o" 5enophobia are blac0 *"ricans, ,ho are identi"ied b$ crass ph$sical "eatures, such as s0in colour, inoculation mar0s and dress code 6c"! Minaar 9 1ough, 1::62 Morris, 1:::7! This arbitrar$, unsophisticated "orm o" 5enophobia suggests that racism has "ound ne, /ictims in a post-apartheid South *"rica 61arris, 20017! *t the same time, it also allo,s "or old patterns o" racist harassment and abuse to subsist beneath the +ne,+ targets and perpetrators! For e5ample, in March 2001, The Star ne,spaper ran the headline +Too dar0+ teacher to sue "or arrest 6Monare 9 Feris, 20017! The article tells o" a ,oman ,ho ,as arrested, detained and assaulted b$ blac0 policemen on the grounds that she ,as 3too dar03 to be a South *"rican citi-en! Flan0ed b$ a large picture o" the /ictim ,ith blood streaming do,n her "ace, the report e5plains that she ,as apprehended "or being an illegal immigrant because o" 3her comple5ion, "acial appearance, accent and her st$le o" dressing3! The ,oman, a South *"rican citi-en, ,as beaten ,ith 3something blunt3 on her "orehead, and charged ,ith 3resisting arrest and being an alien3! *long ,ith the e5perience o" 5enophobia, another conse.uence o" close urban li/ing "or re"ugees is the /iolence o" e5ile, i!e! the transposition o" /iolence "rom the home nation, to the host South *"rican cit$! This is a "airl$ under-e5plored and delicate topic in South *"rica! 1o,e/er, the nature o" urban li/ing, particularl$ inner-cit$, high densit$ li/ing, ,hen coupled ,ith the +nationalit$ cluster+ 3protection3 "actor, "acilitates certain "orms o" con"lict relating to the home nation 6as opposed to the South *"rican conte5t7! * small but consistent number o" re"ugees ha/e reported encounters ,ith 3enemies3 "rom their home nation! This has translated into 0idnappings, assaults and disappearances 6c"! 1arris, 2001a7!J Spaces of trauma &e"ugees and as$lum see0ers "ace the trauma o" ,ar, "orced migration, and the /iolence o" e5ile! ?ngoing e5posure to 5enophobia compounds the impact o" alread$ comple5-trauma and this +trauma-conglomeration+ presents man$ challenges to trauma-related ,or0 in the South *"rican conte5t! Similarl$, e5-combatants "rom South *"rica+s o,n struggle histor$ also re/eal a range o" post-traumatic stress responses! Their e5periences o" the past are commonl$ impacted on b$ current mani"estations o" /iolence, as ,ell as a range o" other "actors, including socio-economic-, political- and identit$-related issues! The notion o" trauma itsel" in transition is thus crucial to de/eloping a /ictim empo,erment strateg$ that can accommodate comple5 trauma, 3ne,3 /ictims and a conte5t o" consistent but changing patterns o" /iolence! L5 combatants "rom across the political spectrum e5press "eelings o" abandonment, isolation and betra$al "rom /arious la$ers o" the South *"rican societ$ 8 the state,

communities, "amil$ members - toda$ 6>ear, 20027! These "eelings are rein"orced b$ the stereot$pical portra$al o" e5-combatants as 3securit$ threats3 and perpetrators o" /iolent crime in the ne, South *"rica 6>ear, 20027! >ear 620027 notes that, This 0ind o" attention t$picall$ militates against an$ meaning"ul engagement ,ith the /arious daunting challenges soldiers "ace as the$ ma0e the transition "rom a militar$ to ci/ilian li"e! *nd such attention ,ill ultimatel$, /er$ li0el$ "eed more o" ,hat it supposedl$ see0s to pre/ent - b$ producing or reproducing e5clusionar$ and con"lictual relations! The impact o" unaddressed trauma and a /iolent culture also emerge through soldiers+ attempts to reintegrate into South *"rican societ$! >i/en the breadth o" e5periences captured beneath the label 3e5 combatant3, reintegration has been a "airl$ une/en process, ranging "rom high pro"ile political and economic 3integration3, to /er$ marginalised groups, ,ith little access to the state and resources! Man$ soldiers did not e/en "all into the "ormal structures o" either the apartheid de"ence "orce or the liberation mo/ement armies! 'nstead, the$ occupied less "ormal but highl$ regulated positions as members o" localised de"ence units in di""erent parts o" the cit$! Their e5periences o" /iolence ,ere thus shaped b$ local communit$ d$namics and urban apartheid geograph$! This has impacted on the process o" +reintegration+ and acceptance ,ithin the communit$! 'n some cases, the$ ha/e been accepted because o" their 3protecti/e3 role in the past4 More than an$thing else Ce5-Tho0o-a S<MsD percei/e themsel/es to ha/e been "ighting "or their communities, and in the present, do "eel a certain amount o" appreciation "rom communit$ members! The$ also contemplated the end o" the /iolence ,ith "e,er immediate e5pectations than man$ other e5 combatants! More o"ten, it seems, "eelings o" resentment or betra$al ha/e been generated in relation to initiati/es aimed at e5-S<Ms 6or started b$ S<Ms themsel/es7, ,hich ha/e ta0en place since the cessation o" hostilities 6>ear, 20027! 'n other cases, /ictims and perpetrators continue to li/e side-b$-side ,ithin communities, in a state o" hostilit$ and "ear! *ccording to >ear 620027, man$ members o" the more-"ormal structures, such as the S*<F and MG, "eel distanced and unable to relate to their 3communities3! This sense o" alienation is, "or some, induced b$ the dis#uncture bet,een the political identit$ and ideolog$ o" being a 3Soldier3 ,ithin a changed political order! For e5ample, >ear 620027 notes that 3man$ e5S*<F soldiers ,ho ,ere thoroughl$ schooled in the ideologies o" the old South *"rica ha/e a sense o" being le"t behind "rom the rest o" societ$, being relics o" something no, "orgotten as a result o" the politics the$ too ,ere "ed3! Feeling 3stuc0 in the past3 ironicall$ allo,s these e5 combatants to articulate an identit$ that locates them 3,ithin the present3! *lthough this is an identit$ o" e5clusion, it is one that rede"ines them toda$4 part o" ,ho the$ are, is to be an e5 combatant! 'dentities o" inclusion and e5clusion o""er one ,a$ into e5ploring potential sites o" con"lict ,ithin South *"rica! These sites can occur at di""erent le/els, ranging "rom organised political groupings to marginalised indi/iduals! The$ also point to /ictims 6"or e5ample, /ictims o" "orced land remo/als7 and, importantl$, perpetrators o" /iolence 6"or e5ample, /iolent perpetration at the hands o" the right ,hite, ,ho o/ertl$ 3e5plain3 their actions as a result o" e5clusion

"rom the "ormal political arena7! 'n man$ ,a$s, e5clusion is at the heart o" ,hat are no, being called 3ne,3 social mo/ements in the countr$! These span a range o" issues "rom the Fandless People+s Mo/ement to the Treatment *ction Campaign, ,hich has consistentl$ challenged the go/ernment+s policies on 1'%B*ids and access to anti-retro/iral medication! There are man$ other mo/ements and, as Coc0 6200 7 notes, not enough solid research and in"ormation on group membership, moti/es and issues! 1o,e/er, one ,orr$ing trend has been "or the South *"rican state to respond negati/el$ and oppressi/el$ to criticism "rom ci/il societ$! This is e/en more ,orr$ing in light o" the mooted anti-terror legislation, ,hich ,ill curtail indi/idual rights and o""ers the state an opportunit$ to marginalise and crac0-do,n on progressi/e social mo/ements! The process o" marginalisation, itsel" in transition, re"lects some o" the continuities and changes in /iolence, #ust as it shapes /ictims and perpetrators! 'nstruments o" transitional #ustice, "or e5ample, the South *"rican Truth and &econciliation Commission 6T&C7 ha/e also pla$ed a role in recreating identities and generating discourses "or spea0ing about the past and the present! 'ndeed, the continuities and changes in /iolence o/er South *"rica+s period o" transition o""er insight into issues o" go/ernance, transitional #ustice, reparations, human rights and reconciliation! 'nstead o" 0eeping these issues separate, or in binar$ opposition, "rom /iolence, it is important to recognise that the$ are deepl$ ent,ined! 't is onl$ b$ loo0ing at the nature o" these relationships, and learning "rom other societies in transition, that e5isting mechanisms o" /iolence pre/ention can be e/aluated and ne, strategies de/eloped "or better dealing ,ith /iolence in transition! *otes:
1

Please note that an +urban-rural+ di/ide is commonl$ collapsed b$ /iolence, ,hich mo/es across and bet,een space! For e5ample, patterns o" re/enge /iolence pla$ themsel/es out bet,een hostels in urban Johannesburg and rural areas 6e!g! Qunu7 in the Lastern Cape! That said, to spea0 o" +urban /iolence3 is an arti"icial but use"ul ,a$ o" conceptuali-ing the intersections o" space, identit$ and /iolence in South *"rica!
2

>ear 620027 stresses that not all e5 combatants engage in /iolence or aggression ,hen the$ return to ci/ilian li"e! 1er report debun0s the m$th that e5 combatants are 3/iolent3 simpl$ because o" their e5 combatant status and she cautions against the perpetuation o" such stereot$pes, not onl$ because the$ are inaccurate but also because the$ "uel "eelings o" betra$al and alienation amongst e5 combatants! This 3past3 relates to both the apartheid past 616 $ear olds toda$ ,ould ha/e been 6 or J $ears old at the time o" South *"rica+s "irst democratic election in 1::H7 and also the Truth and &econciliation Commission era 6i!e! much more 3immediate3 histor$7!
H The

mo/ement o" migrants and re"ugees across South *"rica+s borders and into the cities is similarl$ an opportunit$ "or /iolent action 61arris, 2001a7! 1arris 62001a7 situates this "orm o" /iolence ,ithin an 3econom$ o" mo/ement E C,hichD rotates "inanciall$ around the mo/ement o" "oreigners across the region into South *"rica! Aithin this econom$, there is a demand "or mo/ement "rom "oreign tra/elers, man$ o" ,hom, contrar$ to popular

5enophobic m$th, are relati/el$ ,ell-"inanced and resourced! There is similarl$ a suppl$ o" mo/ement "rom a range o" agents, ,ho engage in both legal transactions 6e!g! bus and train "ares7 and illegal acti/ities "or mone$ 6e!g! clandestine border crossings and the illegal issuing o" /isas7! L5ploitation is also a solid "eature o" this econom$! 't e5ists as crime and sometimes, /iolence, en route 6e!g! the"t, e5tortion o" mone$, aggression and ph$sical abuse to elicit e5tra-pa$ment73!
K *lthough

such groups are b$ no means the e5clusi/e domain o" +the poor+! The$ ma$ straddle socio-economic di/ides through +membership "ees+, ,hich range according to "inancial status, as in the case o" Mapogo a Mathamaga! 'ronicall$, this group, through its /iolent methods, has gathered the support o" South *"ricans "rom across the racial and socio-economic spectrum, suggesting that /iolence is a common area "or the e5pression o" racial uni"ication and 3reconciliation3 ,ithin South *"rica!
6 %igilantism

represents once e5ample o" +/iolence breeding /iolence+! ?ther e5pressions can be seen in the longer term e""ect that increased securit$ measures ha/e on the nature o" /iolence4 the higher the ,alls and more sophisticated the securit$ e.uipment, the more /iolent the means o" committing the 3same3 crime!
J %al#i

6in personal communication7 reports that threats, assaults and cross-border abductions appear to be on the increase ,ithin the Pimbab,ean re"ugee communit$ li/ing in South *"rica! Ac+nowled!ements This paper is based on the general methodolog$ and research orientation o" the %iolence and Transition Pro#ect at CS%&, under the guidance o" >raeme Simpson and Piers Pigou! Than0 $ou also to4 Members o" the &ace and &econciliation Pro#ect -?upa Ma0halemele, )rian Mole,a and =ahla %al#i2 *manda <issel and >areth =e,ham 6"or suppl$ing the statistics7, and Fouis >reenberg and Sasha >ear 6"or editorial input and support7! ,eferences )ruce, <! 9 Gomane, J! 61:::7! Ta5is, cops and /igilantes4 police attitudes to,ards street #ustice! Crime & Conflict, 1J, :-HH! Coc0, J! 6200 7! 'nput at CS%& Content Strategic Planning Session, 0;-0: Ma$! <e )eer, L! 6200 7! Grit-inger 0ills in cold blood, rules #udge! Independent Online, Ma$ 02! <ugard, J! 620017! From low intensity war to Mafia war: taxi violence in Sout !frica "#$%&'()))*! %iolence and Transition Series 6K7! )raam"ontein4 Centre "or the Stud$ o" %iolence and &econciliation! >ear, S! 620027! +is in, us away: c allen,es facin, ex'combatants in t e -new- Sout !frica! %iolence and Transition Series 6;7! )raam"ontein4 Centre "or the Stud$ o" %iolence and &econciliation!

>un Control *lliance! */ailable ?nline4 http4BB,,,!gca!org!-a 1amber, )! 61::;7! <r Je0$ll 9 Mr 1$de4 %iolence and transition in South *"rica! 'n L! )ornman, &! %an Leden 9 M! Aent-el 6Lds!7, Violence in Sout !frica, H:- J0! Pretoria4 1uman Sciences &esearch Council! 1amber, )! 61:::7! -.ave no doubt/ it is fear in t e land-: an exploration of t e continuin, cycles of violence in Sout !frica! Paper presented at the Centre "or the Stud$ o" %iolence and &econciliation seminar, 2J Ma$ 1:::! 1arris, )! 62001a7! ! forei,n experience: violence/ crime and xenop obia durin, Sout !frica-s transition! %iolence and Transition Series 6K7! )raam"ontein4 Centre "or the Stud$ o" %iolence and &econciliation! 1arris, )! 62001b7! !s for violent crime t at-s our daily bread: vi,ilante violence durin, Sout !frica-s period of transition! %iolence and Transition Series 617! )raam"ontein4 Centre "or the Stud$ o" %iolence and &econciliation! 1arris, )! 6upcoming7! Mntitled 6research on raciall$ moti/ated hate crime7! )raam"ontein4 Centre "or the Stud$ o" %iolence an &econciliation! 1a$som, =! 61:;67! Maban,alala: t e rise of ri, t'win, vi,ilantes in Sout !frica0 ?ccasional paper 10! Mni/ersit$ o" the Ait,atersrand4 Centre "or *pplied Fegal Studies! Gort#as, )!)! 9 Msomi, S! 62001, <ecember 2J7! Mob 0ills ,oman "or telling truth4 health ,or0er stoned and beaten "or con"ession, Sunda$ Times! Ma0halemele, ?!, Mole,a, )!, 9 %al#i, =! 6personal communication7 )ased on &ace and &econciliation pro#ect Team meetings and discussions 6200 7! Masu0u, S! 6200 7! For better and for worse: Sout !frican crime trends in ())(0 Pretoria4 'nstitute "or Securit$ Studies! Minaar, *! 9 1ough, M! 61::67! Causes/ extent and impact of clandestine mi,ration in selected Sout ern !frican countries wit specific reference to Sout !frica0 Pretoria4 1uman Sciences &esearch Council! Minister o" Correctional Ser/ices )udget Speech 6200 7! Mole,a, )! 6personal communication7! )ased on &ace and &econciliation pro#ect Team meetings and discussions 6200 7! Monare, M! 9 Feris, M! 620017! +Too-dar0+ teacher to sue "or arrest! 1 e Star, March 12! Morris, *! 61:::7! )lea0ness and light4 inner-cit$ trans"ormation in 1illbro,, Johannesburg! Johannesburg4 Ait,atersrand Mni/ersit$ Press! =daba, )! 62001, ?ctober 217! &aging mob e/icts Pimbab,eans, burns homes, The Star!

*/ailable online4 http4BB,,,!iol!co!-aB =daba, )! 9 Galideed, =! 62001, ?ctober 2H7! More shac0s belonging to Pimbab,eans burnt, The Star! */ailable online4 http4BB,,,!iol!co!-aB Palmar$, '!, &auch, J! 9 Simpson, >! 6200 7! %iolent crime in Johannesburg! 'n &! Tomlinson, &!*! )eauregard, F! )remner, 9 R! Mangcu 6Lds!7, Lmerging 2o annesbur,: perspectives on t e postapart eid city, 101-122! Fondon4 &outledge! Segal, F!, Pelo, J, 9 &ampa, P! 620017! 'nto the heart o" dar0ness4 #ourne$s o" the amagents in crime, /iolence and death! 'n J! Steinberg 6Ld!7, Crime +ave: 1 e Sout !frican underworld and its foes, :K-11H! Johannesburg4 Ait,atersrand Mni/ersit$ Press! Simpson, >! 620017! Shoc0 troops and bandits4 $outh, crime and politics! 'n J! Steinberg 6Ld!7, Crime +ave: 1 e Sout !frican underworld and its foes, 11K-12;! Johannesburg4 Ait,atersrand Mni/ersit$ Press! Simpson, >!, Mo0,ena, S! 9 Segal, F! 61::27! Political /iolence4 1::0! 'n M! &obinson 9 *! &$cro"t 6Lds!7, .uman ri, ts and labour law andboo3, 1::1, 2, 1: -21:! Cape To,n4 ?5"ord Mni/ersit$ Press! Sinclair, M! 61::;7! Communit$, identit$ and gender in migrant societies o" Southern *"rica4 emerging epistemological challenges! International !ffairs, JH 627, :- K ! %al#i, =! 6personal communication7! )ased on regular CS%& team meetings and discussions on issues o" 5enophobia, racism and histor$ 62002-200 7! %on Schnit-ler, *!, <itlhage, >!, Ggalema, F!, Maepa, T!, Mo"o0eng, T! 9 Pigou, P! 620017! 4uardian or 4an,ster5 Mapo,o a Mat ama,a: ! case study! %iolence and Transition Series 6 7! )raam"ontein4 Centre "or the Stud$ o" %iolence and &econciliation!