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Occasional Reports

Broken Blue Line: the Involvement of the South African Police Force in Serious and Violent Crime in South Africa

South Africans have become accustomed to media reports alleging the involvement of policemen or ‘people dressed in police uniforms’ in serious crimes. The Institute and its Unit for Risk Analysis have become increasingly concerned at the number and nature of these reports. To try and determine the scale of the problem, the Institute assigned a researcher to source as much information as possible on the involvement of police officers in committing crime. The results were alarming. The Institute consulted journalists, media reports, and information from the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD). Within a week, a list of over 100 separate incidents alleging and/or confirming the police’s involvement in serious crimes was drawn up. The Institute’s researchers stopped looking for more incidents after compiling this list of the initial 100. This report provides an analysis of these 100 incidents and proposes a number of policy interventions for the Government to consider. The Institute has been encouraged that the administration of President Jacob Zuma has done away with much of the crime denialism that characterised the Mbeki era and also that General Bheki Cele seems sincere about re-instilling discipline and order in his police. This report is conceived to capitalise on these positive developments and to support legislators and the police in making better policing policy in South Africa. The report will be made available to MPs, MPLs, the South African Police Force, and the media. Top tier Institute subscribers can log in to download the report below. Other users and interested parties may purchase the report online.

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First Steps to Healing the South African Family

This report presents research by the South African Institute of Race Relations into the state of South African families and youth. The first part will describe the situation and structure of families, from orphans and child-headed households, through to absent fathers and single parents, as well as the effect of poverty on the family. The second part will look at South African youth in relation to social breakdown in families. It will include a discussion of education and youth unemployment, HIV/AIDS, attitudes to sex and teenage pregnancy, youth violence and crime, drug and alcohol use, and mental health and self-perceptions. In December 2010 the Institute held a seminar inviting representatives of child welfare, youth, and family organisations to provide feedback on our preliminary research and to give us insight into their experiences working on the ground with the issues covered by the research. Some of the points raised at the seminar have been included in this report. This research would not have been possible without sponsorship from the Donaldson Trust, to whom we here record our thanks.

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Preventing Electoral Fraud in Zimbabwe: A Report on the Voters' Roll in Zimbabwe

Have you ever heard of a voters’ roll with large numbers of 110-year-olds on it, all born on the same day? Or a small African country whose electorate contains more than 40,000 centenarians – and not a few child voters, some of them as young as two-years-old?...Welcome to the Alice-in-Wonderland world of the Zimbabwean voters’ roll.” The Zimbabwean voters’ roll, as it stood in October 2010, has been analysed for the first time by Professor R W Johnson in a ground-breaking report. This report, entitled Preventing Electoral Fraud in Zimbabwe, has been published by the Institute and is now available here.

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