The Use of Less-Lethal Weapons in South African Prisons and Crowd Management

What are the weapons used in the policing of protests and in prisons in South Africa? Focusing on less-lethal weapons (LLWs) this monograph provides an in-depth look at the weapons provided to prison warders and public order police. The monograph first looks at the use of these weapons in South African public and private prisons. Thereafter, it examines the use of these weapons by South
African Police Service (SAPS) Public Order Police (POP) units in the policing of crowds (‘crowd management’). In both contexts it discusses the types of weapons authorised by the legal and regulatory framework and provided to prison and POP officials as well as available evidence regarding the use and abuse of this equipment, the regulatory framework governing the use of equipment, and
provisions regarding accountability. The concluding section notes key points of comparison and provides recommendations. The monograph is based on documentary sources (including the annual reports of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services [JICS] and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate [IPID]), press reports and interviews with DCS officials, JICS officials and others. The primary focus is on the period 2013–2018. Relevant information prior to this time period is also referred to.