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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Of drug dealers and street gangs: power, mobility, and violence on the Cape Flats
Author:Jensen, SteffenISNI
Periodical:Focaal: tijdschrift voor antropologie
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:organized crime
crime prevention
drug trafficking
Abstract:In November 1998, the parliament of South Africa passed the Prevention of Organized Crime Act. The first part of the Act deals with organized crime; the second part with street gangs. By combining organized crime and street gangs in one Act, conventional assumptions about the intimate links between the two are reaffirmed. The present article argues that these links are complex and diffuse, and that there are important differences between drug dealers and street gangs. The article traces these connections and differences, first through an ethnographic account of one man's trajectory from street gangster to drug dealer in the Cape Flats of Cape Town, and second through a more thematic account of drug dealers and street gangsters that focuses on the two groups' relationship to the State and differences between the two groups in terms of mobility and power. It concludes that the Act will probably fail to achieve its objective, partly because of a lack of understanding of its object. The article is based on material collected during fieldwork in Cape Town in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 1999. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. (p. 233).