The impact of organised crime on social control by the state : a study of Manenberg in Cape Town, South Africa

Lambrechts, Derica (2013-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study set out to research the influence of a local non-state actor on the role and authority of the state, in the domestic environment. Accordingly, the research problem focused on the impact of a domestic actor on the association between the state and the society. This study only focused on the state at the level of local government and the impact of one specific actor, organised criminal groups, on social control by the state. Thus, state-society relations were discussed in this context. In order to guide this study, the main and two supportive research questions were stated as follows: What is the impact of organised crime on the social control by the state? What are the power dynamics between local governance, criminal agents and society? Has the state become criminalised at the level of local government, as a result of the activities of organised crime, and if so, to what extent? The state thus functioned as the dependent variable and organised criminal groups as the independent variable. The theoretical foundation of this study was located in state-society relations, and specific reference was given to the work of Migdal (1988) and his analysis of state social control, pyramidal and weblike societies. Furthermore, a neo-pluralist view of the state was followed. A conceptualisation of the criminalisation of the state was provided, as the criminalisation of the state was regarded as one possible impact of organised crime on the state. In order to analyse the criminalisation of the state, a framework was constructed from four main avenues of empirical observation. In order to answer the research questions, a case study research design and a predominantly qualitative methodology was selected. As a case, the City of Cape Town was selected and Manenberg, located on the Cape Flats, as the site for the research. A case study research design created the opportunity to describe the context in detail and to connect the micro level of analysis to the macro level; thus, it provided insight on the research topic that enabled the researcher to expand/build theory. The field research process occurred over a period of three months using a triangulation of methods: Key informant interview, small group discussions and observation with three categories of respondents. These three categories included: Community members of Manenberg, organised criminal groups and agents of local government and local governance. In order to set the stage for the empirical analysis, a contextualisation of the dependent and independent variables were provided. It was stated that there is a lack of a universally agreed upon definition of organised crime, and as a result, a conceptualisation of organised crime was generated for this study. It was further argued that the majority of literature treats organised criminal groups and organised criminal gangs as two separate concepts, despite the fact that there are more similarities than differences. Thus, for the purpose of this study, a conclusion was reached that the difference is inconsequential. The development of organised crime in South Africa and an examination of the historical development of the gangs on the Cape Flats were described. With regards to the dependent variable, the context was provided for an analysis of local government in South Africa. The demographical and operational features of the municipal area of the City of Cape Town were explained, with specific reference to safety and security elements. The primary data collected was analysed according to the indicators of social control (compliance, participation and legitimacy), as identified by Migdal (1988). In addition, the framework to analyse the criminalisation of the state at the level of local government was applied on the case study. Based on the analysis, a different system, to what was described by Migdal (1988) in his narrative of a triangle of accommodation was found to be in operation in Manenberg on the Cape Flats. It was confirmed that there is the presence of a weakened state and accordingly, a weblike society, where social control is fragmented between local government and the criminal community. However, in this weblike society a system of local power dynamics exists between the criminal community, social community and local agents of governance, where dyadic collaboration occurs between all three the actors. However, despite the collaboration, the criminalisation of the state does not occur, but rather the statification of the organised criminal community, as it provides goods and service to the social community. The main findings can be summarised as: If a state lacks extensive social control and a rival authority has claimed a level of social control, this will not necessarily lead to the further weakening of the state, as a result of a system of power dynamics in place, where collaboration between the social community, the criminal community and local agents of governance occurs. This system is kept in place by: On-going efforts by the state to maintain (or regain) compliance, participation and legitimacy; corrupt agents of the state (specifically in the security sector); a level of operational ease that exists for the criminal community (and the interweaving of the criminal community in the social community) and a relatively strong society that acknowledges the benefits of criminal activities for the social community, but also recognises the authority and control of the state.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie het ten doel om die uitwerking van 'n plaaslike nie-staatsrolspeler op die rol en gesag van die staat in die plaaslike omgewing te ondersoek. Vervolgens fokus die navorsingsvraag op die impak van 'n plaaslike rolspeler op die verhouding tussen die staat en die samelewing. Die studie fokus op die staat op plaaslike regeringsvlak en op die impak van een spesifieke rolspeler, georganiseerde misdaadgroepe. Staat-samelewing-verhoudinge is dus teen hierdie agtergrond bespreek. Om die studie te rig, is die hoof- en twee ondersteunende navorsingsvrae soos volg gestel: Wat is die impak van georganiseerde misdaad op die sosiale beheer van die staat? Wat is die magsdinamiek tussen die plaaslike regeringsvlak, kriminele agente en die samelewing? Is die staat gekriminaliseer op plaaslike regeringsvlak as gevolg van die resultate van georganiseerde misdaadbedrywighede en, indien wel, in hoe 'n mate? Die staat vorm dus die afhanklike veranderlike en georganiseerde misdaadgroepe die onafhanklike veranderlike. Die teoretiese begronding vir hierdie studie is gevind in staat-samelewing-verhoudinge en die werk van Migdal (1988), spesifiek sy analise van staat-sosiale beheer en piramiede- en webvormige samelewings, word genoem. Verder is 'n neo-pluralistiese beskouing van die staat ingeneem. 'n Konseptualisering van die kriminalisering van die staat word verskaf, aangesien dit voorsien is as een moontlike impak van georganiseerde misdaad op die staat. Ten einde die kriminalisering van die staat te ontleed, is 'n raamwerk opgebou uit vier hoofrigtings van empiriese observasie. 'n Gevallestudie is as navorsingsontwerp gebruik om die navorsingsvrae te beantwoord, met hoofsaaklik 'n kwalitatiewe metodologie. As 'n geval is die Stad Kaapstad gekies, met Manenberg op die Kaapse Vlakte as die terrein vir die navorsing. Die gevallestudie-navorsingsontwerp het die geleentheid geskep om die konteks in detail te beskryf en die mikrovlak-analise met die makrovlak-analise te verbind; derhalwe het dit insig verskaf wat die navorser in staat gestel het om teorie (uit) te bou. Die veldwerkproses het oor 'n tydperk van drie maande deur drie metodes plaasgevind: onderhoude met sleutelinformante, kleingroepbesprekings, en observasies met drie kategorieë respondente. Hierdie drie kategorieë is gemeenskapslede van Manenberg, georganiseerde misdaadgroepe, en agente van plaaslike regering en bestuur. Ten einde die empiriese navorsing op te stel, is 'n kontekstualisering van die afhanklike en onafhanklike veranderlikes verskaf. Dit is gestel dat daar 'n gebrek is aan 'n universeel-aanvaarde definisie van georganiseerde misdaad, en as gevolg hiervan is 'n konseptualisering vir hierdie studie gevorm. Daar is verder geargumenteer dat die meerderheid literatuur georganiseerde misdaadgroepe en georganiseerde misdaadbendes as twee aparte konsepte hanteer, ten spyte daarvan dat hierdie groeperinge veel meer ooreenstem as verskil. Vervolgens is die gevolgtrekking gemaak dat die verskil nie betekenisvol is nie. Die ontwikkeling van georganiseerde misdaad in Suid-Afrika en 'n ontleding van die historiese ontwikkeling van bendes op die Kaapse Vlakte is beskryf. Rakende die afhanklike veranderlike, is die konteks verskaf vir 'n analise van plaaslike regering in Suid-Afrika. Die demografiese en operasionele kenmerke van die munisipale area van die Stad Kaapstad is uiteengesit, met spesifieke verwysing na veiligheid- en sekuriteitselemente. Die primêre ingesamelde data is ontleed aan die hand van die indikatore van sosiale beheer (nakoming, deelname en legitimiteit) soos deur Migdal (1988) gedefinieer. Verder is die raamwerk om die kriminalisering van die staat op plaaslike regeringsvlak te ontleed, op die gevallestudie toegepas. Op grond van die analise is daar bevind dat 'n ander stelsel as wat Migdal (1988) in sy narratief van ‟n driehoek van akkommodasie beskryf het, in Manenberg op die Kaapse Vlakte voorkom. Dit is bevestig dat daar 'n verswakte staat voorkom en, vervolgens, 'n webvormige samelewing, waar sosiale beheer gefragmenteer is tussen die plaaslike regering en die kriminele gemeenskap. In hierdie webvormige samelewing bestaan egter 'n stelsel van plaaslike magsdinamiek tussen die kriminele gemeenskap, die sosiale gemeenskap en plaaslike regeringsagente, waar diadiese medewerking tussen al drie die akteurs voorkom. Ten spyte van hierdie samewerking, kom die kriminalisering van die staat egter nie voor nie, maar eerder 'n verstaatliking van die georganiseerde misdaadgemeenskap, aangesien dit goedere en dienste aan die sosiale gemeenskap verskaf. Die hoofbevindinge kan soos volg saamgevat word: As 'n staat nie uitgebreide sosiale beheer het nie en 'n mededingende gesag het 'n vlak van sosiale beheer opgeëis, sal dit nie noodwendig lei tot die verdere verswakking van die staat nie, as gevolg van 'n stelsel van magsdinamiek wat in plek is waar medewerking tussen die sosiale gemeenskap, die kriminele gemeenskap en plaaslike agente van bestuur voorkom. Hierdie stelsel word in plek gehou deur aaneenlopende pogings deur die staat om nakoming, deelname en legitimiteit te verkry (of terug te kry), korrupte staatsagente (spesifiek in die sekuriteitsektor), 'n vlak van operasionele gemak wat vir die kriminele gemeenskap bestaan (en die vervlegting van kriminele gemeenskap en die sosiale gemeenskap), en 'n relatiewe sterk samelewing wat die voordele van kriminele aktiwiteit vir die sosiale gemeenskap erken, maar so ook die gesag en beheer van die staat.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80057
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