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Is decolonisation the answer to democratic policing?

The inaugural lecture of Prof Doraval Govender, Department of Criminology and Security Science, titled Policing in South Africa: Is decolonisation the answer to democratic policing?, took place on 30 April 2018.

In his lecture, Govender critically evaluated the structure and functioning of the South African Police Service (SAPS), and took stock of the difficulties confronting police officers in their day-to-day policing activities.

“Policing in South Africa tends to draw widespread criticism, much of it directed at the external and internal environments of the police, and a great deal of it levelled by politicians, academics, researchers, the community and the mass media,” he said.

Prior to 1994, the call was for the rationalisation, restructuring and amalgamation of the police into a single police service that would enjoy legitimacy among all the communities of South Africa.

Although the country embraced a new democratic dispensation in 1994, very little was done to develop and implement clear policies and processes to decolonise the police and bring about systemic change.

Govender collected qualitative information by means of a literature study and drew on his personal experience as a former senior police officer with the SAPS.

“I identified a need for the decolonisation of the structure and functioning of the police service in South Africa, so that police officers may perform their role within the context of democratic principles and restore respect for the country and its citizens, he concluded.

You can read the full lecture here.

What motivates you? And disheartens you?

My passion for research, education, training and development motivates me.

Generally, students, especially postgraduate students who do not make use of the library to read widely on their area of study, dishearten me.

What does a dream weekend involve?

Deep-sea fishing

Describe yourself in three words?

Confident, understanding, appreciative

What is the best career advice you have ever been given?

Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.

What is the best part about being a professor?

Your research, learning, and teaching skills are in demand.

And the worst part?

Time is too short to cope with all the challenges of the day.

*By Sharon Farrell