Eugene Earnshaw-Whyte
University of Toronto
Concerns for safety and security as South Africa’s hosting of 2010 FIFA World Cup draws nearer highlight the degree to which South Africa’s reputation for a relatively peaceful transition from Apartheid has been replaced by its reputation for violent crime. Its transition, and the peacebuilding efforts that followed it, are not completely unrelated to its current high levels of violent crime. In fact, this article argues that there were a number of issues South Africa’s peacebuilding process failed to address that are relevant to the country’s violent crime situation. A significant reason for this failure was an inability or unwillingness to engage the full spectrum of Apartheid’s violence with equal rigour. Apartheid inflicted structural violence, through its racially oppressive laws, as well as physical violence, through enforcing its laws and suppressing its opposition, on the people of South Africa. Peacebuilding in South Africa primarily focused on Apartheid’s physical violence. Through the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the focus was narrowed down further to physical political violence. Due to this narrow focus, it did not attend effectively to non-political violence – which includes gender-based violence, the esteem violence had attained during and due to Apartheid, disarming the country of illegal firearms, and narrowing the income gap between the country’s rich and poor. While South Africa proudly claims ownership of its conflict resolution and peacebuilding processes, it still emulated predominant models of building peace through liberal democracy and a market economy. These models have been drawn from Western success stories in diminishing interstate conflict, while South Africa is a developing country that was recovering from an intrastate conflict. Pursuing these models has had benefits for South Africa, but not in many of the ways it needed in order to effectively prevent a surge in criminal violence in the wake of Apartheid
Keywords 750699 Government and politics not elsewhere classified  360199 Political Science not elsewhere classified  C1  South Africa   violent crime   peacebuilding  160699 Political Science not elsewhere classified  940299 Government and Politics not elsewhere classified
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