Detention and Violence: Beyond Victimology

  • Don Foster
  • Donald Skinner


Nobody can doubt that the purely quantitative incidence of detention in terms of security legislation and emergency regulations has increased significantly in the past few years. Accurate aggregate figures are notoriously difficult to gain, since the Minister of Law and Order only reports numbers of those detained for more than 30 days under Emergency Regulations, does not release figures on detention in the ‘independent states’, and sometimes fails to give details of detention under all of the various provisions of the Internal Security Act 1982. Despite this a reasonable picture may be gained from a combination of official figures and data gathered by the Detainees’ Parents’ Support Committee.1 Including all forms of detention, roughly 50 000 people have been held by the state during the three-year period January 1985 to December 1987. Since the overall figure of all detentions since 1960, when this form of repression was first deployed, must be in the order of 100 000 people, it appears that the number of detentions during these three years roughly equals to the total of detentions during the preceding 25 years. In 1986 alone close on 25 000 people were estimated to have been detained.


Political Violence Sensory Deprivation African National Congress South African Medical Journal Psychological Sequela 
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Copyright information

© N. Chabani Manganyi and André du Toit 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Don Foster
  • Donald Skinner

There are no affiliations available

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