This paper discusses the role of the South African Police during instances of civil unrest. It first provides a definition of violence and then proceeds to call for a definition of the term "violence" which is not restricted to instances of physical harm. State-supported violence is then defined. The issue as to whether the police should be seen as managers of conflict or whether they are party to the conflict is then discussed with particular reference to the South African situation.
The South African Police
Johan Olivier is a former Researcher at the Centre for Conflict Analysis at the Human Sciences Research Council.