Towards resuscitating the ailing public violence jurisprudence – lessons from history

Authors Khulekani Khumalo

ISSN: 1996-2118
Affiliations: Lecturer, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Source: South African Journal of Criminal Justice, Volume 30 Issue 1, p. 23 – 37


The recent spate of protests organised under the #FeesMustFall campaign have not only exposed all that is wrong with the existing political and economic order, but also the shortcomings of the crime of public violence in achieving its objective of maintaining peace and order as well as to afford protection against the invasion of the rights of others during violent protests. Fortunately, the crime of public violence has a long developmental history from which lessons could be drawn as to how these shortcomings and other challenges facing the crime can best be resolved or remedied. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to venture into the history of the crime of public violence in order to draw lessons which could help identify and possibly remedy the challenges facing the crime of public violence. After all, these challenges threaten the effcacy of the crime and, in turn, cause the public violence jurisprudence to be ailing and to be in need of being resuscitated. Ultimately, it is introspection of this nature that will ensure the resuscitation of public violence jurisprudence and the consequent realisation of the interests sought to be protected by this crime.