Scielo RSS <![CDATA[SA Crime Quarterly]]> vol. num. 58 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>The end of the year, the end of an era</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>The use and abuse of police data in protest analysis South Africa's Incident Registration Information System (IRIS)</b>]]> South Africa's Incident Registration Information System (IRIS) is a comprehensive, computerised database maintained by the South African Police Service. In principle, it records all public order policing activity, including all crowd incidents. While IRIS data is, potentially, a unique source for protest event analysis, it should be approached with considerable care. In this article we aim to correct misunderstandings about the data advanced by academics and in the media, and expose its misuse by police chiefs and politicians. In particular, we argue that the incidents that IRIS reports are not protests, although protests can be found in the raw data. This article is based, in part, on records of 156 230 incidents covering the period 1997-2013. We estimate that only about 67 750 of these, 43% of the total, were protests. This may be the largest number of police-recorded protests released anywhere in the world. <![CDATA[<b>Public order transparency</b><b>: </b><b>Using freedom of information laws to analyse the policing of protest</b>]]> This article discusses two research projects that have used the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to analyse protest in South Africa and the policing thereof. A total of 23 information requests were submitted on behalf of the two projects, 19 to the South African Police Service (SAPS) and four to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate. The article starts by discussing police transparency in South Africa, information on the policing of protest that the SAPS routinely publishes in its annual report, the PAIA framework, and some of the limitations of the projects. It then focuses on insights into SAPS information on levels of protest and protest-related violence in South Africa that emerged from the two projects. This includes information disclosed by the police regarding their use of force during protests, and police accountability for this. The article concludes by reflecting on the implications of and lessons from these exercises in police transparency. <![CDATA[<b>Ten years after the Jali Commission: Assessing the state of South Africa's prisons</b>]]> Ten years have lapsed since the Jali Commission's final report became publicly available, and it is therefore an opportune time to assess the state of South Africa's prison system. The Jali Commission was appointed when it became clear that the state had lost control of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). A decade on, some notable advances have been made in regaining control, and addressing corruption and maladministration. However, serious and persistent challenges remain. These are explored in this article, with a particular focus on policy development, the performance of the DCS against set targets, governance and human rights violations. In all four of these areas substantial shortcomings remain. Impunity for human rights violations is perhaps the most critical challenge, as the DCS has been reluctant to acknowledge the scale of this problem or to seriously address it. <![CDATA[<b>Luke Sinwell with Siphiwe Mbatha, The spirit of Marikana: the rise of insurgent trade unionism in South Africa</b>]]> Despite its title, this book does not look exclusively at the massacre that occurred at Marikana on 16 August 2012, when South African police officers shot and killed 34 striking mineworkers and wounded 78 others. Rather, it places that event in the context of a longer, larger struggle for dignity and economic freedom by the working class in South Africa. The authors did not do this to trivialise this significant event but to implore the reader to recognise that it was one moment, one particular incident in a long history of struggle and conflict, one that is not necessarily more important than another. As such, it pursues what George Lipsitz has called the 'long fetch', looking into the past and identifying the forces that slowly shaped what may otherwise appear to have been sudden and inexplicable.ยน The book does this by attempting to describe the tensions between the various 'ordinary' individuals - the striking employees of Lonmin's platinum mine at Marikana - and their relationships to the labour collectives they started, helped lead, or held to account. It attempts to show how understanding these tensions is crucial to understanding the events that occurred at Marikana, and understanding South Africa as an economic project.