Mob justice is an expression of a failed criminal justice system

Mob justice has been observed in diverse cultural and historical settings. It takes hold when the population deems the local government and law enforcement ineffective and untrustworthy (Traynor Jr et al., 2020). This phenomenon emerged in many modern post-conflict states such as the post-civil war United States, post-World War II Eastern Europe, and Northern Ireland (Pfeifer, 2010).

SA became a democratic country in 1994, marking the end of the harsh, protracted apartheid regime (Monaghan, 2008, p. 1792). Over many decades, institutionalised racial segregation and state-sanctioned violence eroded trust between communities and law enforcement; and the relationship was characterised by extreme antagonism (Traynor Jr et al., 2020). Despite efforts to police society more inclusively, high levels of inequality, as well as crime and interpersonal violence (IPV), persist...

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