Margins Essay

1607 WordsDec 20, 20117 Pages
Crime and Punishment on the Margins of the Post-apartheid State • The article examines how communities on the margin of the new post-apartheid state reclaim “stolen goods” and deal with “criminals” in ways that inflict physical punishment and are often profoundly brutal or violent. • It explored how the use of corporal punishment in the form of beatings and other forms of inflicting pain comes to be seen as both necessary and legitimate by the affected communities. • Crime is often articulated by township communities as their biggest obstacle to accessing development funding, investments, and employment initiatives. • Township residents, believing that the police are unable to preserve law and order, take the law into their own hands. • These residents have created a range of local security structures to deal with crime- some well organized, others working on a more ad hoc basis. • The kind of justice these emerging structures stand for is often the only kind of justice that large numbers of citizens in the South African township can afford. • The particular manner in which criminals are dealt with in the township is intimately related to the socioeconomic marginalisation’s that most township residents encounter on a daily basis. • For the residents, the thief of enjoyment has been crime. • Crime has become a catchword that is often used to explain everything that has gone wrong in the country. • The concept of crime gives shape and direction to local problems of order and disorder such as teenage pregnancy, rape, theft, and family disputes. • The concept of crime, used locally, is, therefore, profoundly polyvalent- able to name local grievances and link them to broader issues. o Relate to Jenson article- moral crimes. • In this scenario, the ever present criminal wears the face of illegal immigrants, of young and undisciplined teenage girls and boys,

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