Cape Town's underworld: Mapping a protection racket in the central business district

Using social network analysis, this case study of security racketeering in Cape Town reveals a highly sophisticated criminal network that capitalises on the grey areas between lawful and unlawful.

This paper, the first in a series, presents and discusses the characteristics of the structure, actors involved, types of interactions and institutional effects of a criminal network. This case study is focused on security racketeering in Cape Town, South Africa. The analysis is based on data gathered from various sources, predominately media articles covering the period between 2010 and November 2013, and was developed by applying specific protocols of social network analysis.

About the authors

Eduardo Salcedo-Albaran holds a master’s degree in political science. As director of Scientific Vortex Inc., he collaborates with institutes and universities worldwide researching the structure of transnational criminal networks that participate in corruption, drug trafficking and state capture. He is also part of the EDGE Foundation, which gathers together thinkers ‘who are at the center of today’s intellectual, technological, and scientific landscape’.

Khalil Goga is a researcher with the ISS, with which he has been affiliated since 2012. He has been researching organised crime in Africa since 2009. He previously lectured at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, from where he received both his undergraduate and master’s degrees.

Charles Goredema is a senior research consultant with more than 20 years’ experience of criminal justice systems in Southern Africa. A lawyer by training, he has conducted and published detailed research work into organised crime and money laundering in Southern and East Africa with the ISS for over 14 years. 

Development partners
This paper was made possible with support from the International Development Research Centre. The ISS is grateful for support from the following members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United States.
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