A Systematic Study on South African Police Service Leadership Crisis towards Supporting Section 205(3) as the Constitutional Foundation for Public Policing

  • Lesiba Lolly Motsepe Senior Lecturer (Dr), College of Law, School of Criminal Justice, Department of Police Practice, University of South Africa (UNISA), Pretoria, South Africa
  • Rakgetse John Mokwena Senior Lecturer (Mr), College of Law, School of Criminal Justice, Department of Police Practice, University of South Africa (UNISA), South Africa
  • Witness Maluleke Senior Lecturer (Dr), Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Limpopo, South Africa
Keywords: Crime; Constitutional Foundations; Corruption; Integrity; Policing; Police Leadership Crisis; South Afrian Police Service; Sytematic Review


This systematic review study looked at the emergent of the South African Police Service (SAPS)’s leadership power struggle in one of the executive organs of the state. The power struggle has the destructive force to destabilise efforts in the fight against crime and weaken the leadership. With the increasing crime rate and disorder in needy communities, discernible signs of systemic failures continue to infiltrate into police leadership structures leading to controversial leadership roles since the advent of democratic policing in South Africa. This paper offers insights into SAPS’s leadership enmity, acrimony, and criminality that paint a negative picture of the complex organisation while betraying the central attempts of gaining public trust and confidence in Section 205(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. The findings postulate that the involvement of police in the power struggle and mismanagement emits a negative impact on the status of the SAPS’s leadership and threatens the fibre of the country’s safety and security. The past and current leadership appear to be unruffled by the negative perceptions about this organisation holistically. The review indicates a total disregard for the SAPS’s code of conduct, policies, rules, and regulations, as well as internal procedures, ethics and ineffective processes of corrective systems. It is recommended that criminology as a discipline should frequently be adapted to address current SAPS leadership operations ‒ this call for an effective Criminal Justice System (CJS) that embrace social cohesion using multidisciplinary approaches to address the essence of policing. The government, local communities, law enforcement agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) should collaboratively influence sound leadership and progressive policies.


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How to Cite
Motsepe, L. L., Mokwena, R. J., & Maluleke, W. (2022). A Systematic Study on South African Police Service Leadership Crisis towards Supporting Section 205(3) as the Constitutional Foundation for Public Policing. International Journal of Social Science Research and Review, 5(7), 172-195. https://doi.org/10.47814/ijssrr.v5i7.460