English: Little research has been done on the phenomenon of vigilantism in South Africa.
Vigilantism describes the action of citizens who take the law into their own hands,
making use of violent methods, in the context of inadequate law enforcement by the
state and the collapse of public order. In an environment of political instability, lack
of public order and related security problems, groups such as People Against Gangsterism
and Drugs (PAGAD), Mapoga-a-Mathamaga and “people’s courts” have come
into being as vigilante organisations. This article describes and analyses vigilantism
in South Africa against the backdrop of disintegrating public order.