Protector or predator? Tackling police corruption in South Africa


Corruption remains a serious challenge to the effectiveness and legitimacy of the South African Police Service (SAPS). This monograph explores corruption in the SAPS prior to and after democratisation in 1994, contextualising the discussion with reference to international and domestic literature on the subject. It explores the causes of police corruption in the South African context and assesses the efforts taken by the SAPS in response to this challenge. Practical recommendations are made as to how the SAPS can significantly reduce incidents of police corruption by enhancing internal accountability, promoting a culture of organisational integrity and mobilising community support. Consolidating decades of research on the subject, this monograph represents the most comprehensive analysis of police corruption in South Africa to date. It also offers an approach that could assist in transforming the SAPS into a police agency that all South Africans want, one that is widely respected for its integrity and professionalism.

About the authors

Gareth Newham is the Head of the Crime and Justice Programme at the Institute for Security Studies. He has worked closely with members of the SAPS and undertaken research on policing in South Africa since 1998. He obtained his Masters in Public and Development Management from the University of the Witwatersrand with a dissertation on managing police corruption at station level. He also trained station-based commanders on improving performance management and addressing police corruption as part of the Joint University Public Management Education Trust Police Management Training Programme.

Andrew Faull is a Senior Researcher in the Crime and Justice Programme at the Institute for Security Studies. In 2010 he published a book titled `Behind the Badge: the untold stories of South Africa’s Police Service members`. He has also been an active police reservist member for a number of years in different police precincts in the Western Cape and Gauteng.

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