Soweto, syndicates and "doing business"
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This preliminary exploration of the internal workings of organized crime in the province of Gauteng, South Africa, draws on the experience of both the police of the Soweto Flying Squad and the criminals that they observe, chase, and arrest. The chapter does not deal with random, spontaneous, or noneconomic crime (such as rape, which also is often gang-based). Rather, its ambit is limited to organized crime, and those who engage in it, namely the ou manne, the syndicate owners, and the tsotsis, the young men who "do the work”. The focus is on the day to-day realities of crime in Soweto, using the gaze of police "outside" (on the streets) "in the area" (throughout Soweto) as the starting point. As a result, the chapter inevitably reflects the bemusement of both policemen and criminals regarding the pronouncements of parliamentarians, academic researchers, and senior police (usually referred to simply as "Pretoria," where the headquarters of the South African Police Service [SAPS] is located) about organized crime and its structures.
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