The development of vigilantism in South Africa

Cupido, Amber Courtney (2021-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2021.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research presented in this study aims to engage the topic of vigilantism. This study serves to demonstrate an overview of the development of vigilantism in South Africa, paying particular attention to the apartheid and democratic eras. The research question posed by this study is: How has vigilantism developed under the governance of the apartheid and democratic regimes in South Africa? Thus this thesis delves into how the apartheid and democratic regimes have governed, focusing on the relationship between the state and non-state actors in society. A discussion offering an overview of how the state operated under apartheid and democracy provides insight into the level of state strength and state capacity under each regime. Moreover, this discussion provides the contextual background for analysing the occurrence of vigilantism experienced during apartheid and democracy. A framework compiled for the purpose of this study is used to examine the phenomenon of vigilantism in South Africa in order to identify if and how vigilante groups and their activities have changed from apartheid to democracy. This study focuses on vigilante organisations as non-state actors that take on the roles of the state in various ways and practise a limited degree of social control on the communities in which they operate. Key findings in this study indicates that experiences of vigilantism have differed from apartheid to democracy in the structure of vigilante groups and in the type of vigilantism practised by these groups. Similarities have been found across incidents of vigilantism from apartheid to democracy in the nature and methods used when engaging in vigilante activity. Key findings indicate that the motivations behind vigilante groups, their activities and objectives are context specific, and thus are always changing. Furthermore, this thesis demonstrates that various factors such as inequality, marginalisation, inaccessibility and unresponsive state institutions, as well as complicity by the state and its institutions, act as contributing factors to the continued presence of vigilantism from apartheid to democracy.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsing wat in hierdie studie aangebied word, het ten doel om die onderwerpvan waaksaamheid te betrek. Hierdie studie dien as 'n oorsig van die ontwikkeling van waaksaamheid in Suid-Afrika, met veral aandag aan die apartheids-en demokratiese tydperke. Die navorsingsvraag van hierdie studie is: Hoe het waaksaamheid ontwikkel onder die bestuur van die apartheids-en demokratiese regimes in Suid-Afrika? Hierdie tesis kyk na die bestuur van die apartheids-en demokratiese staat, en fokus op die verhouding tussen die staat en die nie-staatsaktuering die samelewing. 'n Bespreking wat 'n oorsig bied van hoe die staat onder apartheid en demokrasie opereer, bied insig in die vlak van staatsterkte en staatskapasiteit onder elke regime. Boonop bied hierdie bespreking die kontekstuele agtergrond vir die ontleding van die voorkoms van waaksaamheid wat tydens apartheid en demokrasie ervaar word. ‘n Raamwerk wat vir die doel van hierdie tesis saamgestel is, word gebruik om die verskynsel van waaksaamheid in Suid-Afrika te ondersoek om te bepaal of en hoe waaksaamheidsgroepe en hul aktiwiteite van apartheid na demokrasie verander het. Hierdie studie fokus op waaksaamheidsorganisasies as nie-staatsaktore wat die rolle van die staat op verskillende maniere inneem en 'n beperkte mate van sosiale beheer oor die gemeenskappe waarin hulle werk, beoefen. Belangrike bevindings in hierdie studie dui aan dat ervarings van waaksaamheid verskil het van apartheid tot demokrasie in die struktuur van waaksaamheidsgroepe en in die tipe waaksaamheid wat deur hierdie groepe beoefen word. Ooreenkomste tussen voorvalle van waaksaamheid van apartheid tot demokrasie, in die aard en metodes wat gebruik word, is gevind. Belangrike bevindinge dui verder aan dat die motiverings agter waaksaamheidsgroepe en hul aktiwiteite en die doelwitte wat hulle wil bereik, 'n veranderende eienskap is wat baie konteks spesifiek is. Verder toon hierdie tesis aan dat verskillende faktore soos ongelykheid, marginalisering, ontoeganklikheid en staatsinstellings wat nie reageer nie, sowel as medepligtigheid deur die staat en sy instellings, bydraende faktore tot die voortgesette teenwoordigheid van waaksaamheid van apartheid tot demokrasie is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/110107
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