The Government’s Selective Law Enforcement Practices

The Government’s Selective Law Enforcement Practices
South African Police.

The primary responsibility of the South African Police Service (SAPS) is the law enforcement. It is responsible to investigate crime and maintain the nation’s security and safety, which it essentially does. But, sometimes the law is enforced selectively by the police and the government itself, which poses a problem to the civil society.

The problem with South Africa is that government officials such as regulators, prosecutors and police officers exercise enforcement discretion. They use the power in their own advantage and choose how or whether to punish someone that has broken the law. This biased use of law enforcement is usually due to corruption or it’s based on racial prejudice, but mostly corruption because money does not recognize race or religion.

Sometimes selective law enforcement may be desirable. For example, if a court decides to just to warn a teenager verbally without resorting to legal punishment so that it may effectively alter his behavior is sometimes OK. That way the government will avoid legal costs and the effect will be achieved. But, government officials that abuse the law and enforce it selectively is something much different.

A great example of selective enforcement are the recent changes to South African online casino law. How come online casinos and online poker sites are illegal, while sports betting and online horse racing sites remained legal? All four are regarded gambling, but not all four were treated equal. Did government officials have dipped their hands into sports betting and online horse racing money? Are they protecting someone? As a result of this selective approach, websites like Piggs Peak and this website were treated as illegal operations even though they offered licensed gambling.

Examples like this can be found all over the nation. Corruption is spread like a disease. Police officers are arrested for taking bribes, public officials are suspended for promoting racism, the state security agency is being robbed despite the enormous number of security measures which raises questions whether it was an internal job etc., and in many of such cases the law enforcement is completely biased when trying to resolve them.

All of that shows that the civil society in South Africa is in crisis and needs redevelopment from the ground up. As much as people would like to see the biggest government officials take the blame, and as much as the blame is on them, there will be no effective changes if the change doesn’t start from the very basics, from the lowest ranking officers that take corruption naturally. Mentality should be changed so that everyone can realize that when rule of law is applied only in situations that suite the government, but are ignored and broken at will when it’s convenient hurts everybody and the nation as a whole.

Sponsored post.

South Africa Today – South Africa News