Lawlessness In SA Is Way Beyond The Apartheid Era – John Kane-Berman


All hands point to President Jacob Zuma for the hiked lawlessness and injustices in the country, but John Kane-Berman of the Institute of Race Relations disproves this claim saying Zuma is not the architect of lawlessness in the country.

John Kane-Berman who is the Chief Executive of SA Institute of Race Relations wrote in his latest publication titled “Going off the Rails: The Slide Towards the Lawless South African State” that though lawlessness has largely increased during the Zuma-led administration, the situation did not start with him.

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The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) reported earlier this week, that “Under the rule of President Jacob Zuma‚ the state has become increasingly lawless”.

The report listed “200 incidents of lawless behaviour on the part of the state and its officials‚ but says that these are but the tip of a large iceberg” as it reiterates how the country is widely recognized as a lawless country in which the government has itself become increasingly lawless.

Kane-Berman pointed to “the sabotage by the African National Congress of the parliamentary investigation into the R47bn arms deal which first came to light nearly 17 years ago”, as a good example of the state of lawlessness in the country.

“Lawlessness on the part of the state and those who run it is on the increase. Th e culprits run from the president down to clerks of the court, from directors general to immigration officials, from municipal managers to prison warders, from police generals to police constables, from cabinet ministers to petty bureaucrats,” he wrote, while pointing out how some people are unlawfully appointed, some unlawfully dismissed, some both.

“Others are unlawfully denied appointment or promotion. A criminal record is no bar to appointment or promotion, even in agencies designed to combat crime. Physical torture seems to be pervasive. Perpetrators of crime often get away with it. Some victims are able to seek redress in the courts, others suffer in silence. Many cases of lawlessness are reported in the newspapers, but they are probably the tip of quite a large iceberg”.

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John Kane-Berman went on to paint a hopeless picture of the south African state‚ saying: “It is difficult to see how crime can be successfully combated when the state itself has become more and more lawless and even criminal.”

Lawlessness according to him, ranges from protecting the criminal, to hounding the innocent, to crushing the poor. It runs from the unconstitutional to the outright criminal, from the brazen and defiant to the negligent or ignorant.

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