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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

versión On-line ISSN 2224-7912
versión impresa ISSN 0041-4751

Tydskr. geesteswet. vol.48 no.4 Pretoria  2008


Donkerder skakerings van blou


Darker shades of blue



Jean Steyn

Departement Veiligheid en Sekuriteitsbestuur, Tshwane Universiteit vir Tegnologie.




Die Grondwet van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika, 1996, vereis 'n fundamentele herassessering en transformasie van die wese en styl van polisiëring in Suid-Afrika. Dit moet vloei vanuit 'n stelsel waar die menseregte van die meerderheid Suid-Afrikaners tydens die apartheidsjare misken is, tot 'n stelsel wat die vertroue en respek van almal inboesem. Hierdie verandering vereis dat die fundamentele aannames van individuele polisiebeamptes ten opsigte van die organisasie en die omgewing waarin polisiëring funksioneer, sal transformeer. Op hierdie stadium, meer as elfjaar nadat die Suid-Afrikaanse demokrasie tot stand gebring is, is die sentrale vraag in polisiëring of die houdings van nuwelinge in die stelsel wel gemeenskapspolisiëring as die aanvaarde styl van polisiëring ondersteun. Hierdie artikel is 'n poging om die bogenoemde vraag aan te spreek deur vergelykings te tref tussen die houdings van 'n veteenwoordigende steekproef van dieselfde SAPD-nuwelinge in drie fases: toe hulle aangemeld het vir basiese opleiding (Januarie 2005), toe hulle die opleiding voltooi het (Junie 2005), en toe hulle as gegradueerde nuwelinge die polisiediens betree het om die inwoners van Suid-Afrika te dien (Desember 2005). Die studie het bevind dat die meerderheid respondente wat by die SAPD kolleges aangemeld het vir opleiding, reeds matige houdings ter ondersteuning van die polisiekultuur temas solidariteit, isolasie en sinisme gehad het. Die studie het verder ook bevind dat die SAPD basiese opleiding (kollege en veldopleiding) nuwelinge se houdings aangaande die polisiekultuur temas solidariteit, isolasie en sinisme versterk het.

Trefwoorde: Polisiekultuur, tema, solidariteit, isolasie, sinisme, Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens, nuwelinge, basiese opleiding


The South African elections of April 1994 ushered in a democracy and redefined the political and social context within which policing in South Africa would take place in the future. The South African Police Service (SAPS) was established on the 27th of January 1995 in terms of section 214 of the Interim Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1993. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act No. 108 of 1996, subsequently made provision under section 205 for the establishment of a National Police Service that is transparent, accountable, representative, legitimate and impartial. The Constitution further implicitly prescribes in section 222 community policing as the style of policing to be adopted by the SAPS as a vehicle to improve police-community relations and, in general, enhance service delivery to all of its citizens.For change in the policing style to be effective and long lasting the ideology must be supported by the life and worldview within the police culture. This includes changing the basic assumptions of individual police officers with regard to the organisation and its environment. To this effect, the Minister of Safety and Security, at the time Mr Sidney Mufimady, stated that:
The philosophy of community policing must inform and pervade the entire organisation. Changing the police culture is perhaps one of the most significant challenges facing the new government (South Africa, 1994).
In partial achievement of this transformation the SAPS implemented a national policy of ensuring gender equity in the make-up of the Service in order to become more representative of the larger society. Such a policy is likely to have a direct impact on the maintenance of the traditional culture of the South African police as manifested in the previous South African Police (SAP). Alpert, Dunham and Stroshine (2006) have argued that an increase in diversity, to include women, may result in fragmenting, if not destroying the concept of a singular police culture. Specifically it is argued that employment of females may undermine some of the more "masculine qualities of police culture and instead engender a "softer, kinder" form of policing" (Miller, 1999). Paoline, Myers and Worden (2000) have also argued that the inclusion of women in police organisations may effect the negation of many of the characteristics of the police subculture that have emphasized the distrust of and isolation from the public. By contrast, Brogden and Shearing (1993) have suggested that policing style is unlikely to change as a result of changes in recruitment policy. Martin (1980), Sutton (1992), Heidensohn (1992) and Young (1991) also note that women recruited into male-dominated police organisations adapt either by embracing the male police culture, and thus becoming 'defeminised' into police-women; or by taking on a more traditional, service-oriented role, and thus becoming 'de-professionalised' into police-women.
This article reports on a preliminary investigation into the presence/absence of deviant police culture themes (solidarity, isolation and cynicism) that go against the grain of principles of community oriented policing - among South African Police Service recruits entering basic police training in January of 2005 and changes that may have occurred in these attitudes over the period of the six-month basic training and the subsequent six-month field training experience.
The research found significant evidence that the SAPS is recruiting newcomers that have attitudes that conform to a police culture of solidarity, isolation and cynicism. The study further found that the SAPS basic training (generally) only serves to either maintain or strengthen newcomers ' attitudes in support of a police culture of solidarity, isolation and cynicism.

Key words: Police culture, solidarity, isolation, cynicism, theme, South African Police Service, basic training, new recruits


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Jéan Steyn is tans werksaam by die Tshwane Universiteit vir Tegnologie (TUT) se Departement Veiligheid en Sekuritetsbestuur as Durban Diens-puntbestuurder (vanaf 2001), na twaalf jaar as funksionele lid en bevelvoerder in die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens (SAPD). Hy besit 'n Doktorsgraad in Polisiëring sowel as 'n Meesters-graad in Sielkunde. Onder andere is hy Raadslid van die Kriminologie en Viktimologie Vereniging van Suid-Afrika (CRIMSA), Sub-Redakteur van die Suider Afrikaanse Joernaal vir Kriminologie (Acta Criminologica), en lid van die Navorsingsraad vir Menslike Wetenskappe (NRF) se Reg en Politiek assesseringspaneel. Hy het al talle artikels in geakkrediteerde joernale nasionaal en internasionaal gepubliseer sowel as aanbiedings gedoen (en bestuur) by konferensies en simposiums plaaslik en oorsee. Jéan se primêre navorsing belangstellingsveld is polisie organisasie-ontwikkeling.

Jéan Steyn is currently employed by the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), Department of Safety and Security Management, as the Department's Durban Service Point Manager (since 2001), after twelve years as a functional member and commander in the South African Police Service (SAPS). He holds a Doctorate in Policing and Master's in Psychology. He is also a Council member of the Criminology and Victimology Society of South Africa (CRIMSA), Sub-Editor of the Southern African Journal of Criminology (Acta Criminologica), and member of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Law and Politics Funding Applications Assessment Panel. He has published numerous articles in accredited national and international journals, presented (and chaired) various papers at conferences and symposiums locally and abroad. His primary research field interest is police organisational development.

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