South Africa competes with Nigeria as the largest economy on the African continent and serves as a model for peaceful post-conflict transition and stable democracy. In order to ensure continued success, South Africa must address internal challenges such as inequality, inadequate service delivery systems, and growing vulnerable populations. Porous borders and inadequate criminal justice controls expose South Africa to the trade of illegal goods including wildlife, drugs, and weapons. South Africa continues to reconcile and reform its post-Apartheid government systems to make them more accountable and effective. The rest of the African continent has witnessed South Africa’s political transformation and will learn from its best practices going forward.
South Africa is important to American interests because the country can serve as an anchor for stability and prosperity in the Southern Africa region. It plays a key leadership role in Africa by encouraging neighboring countries to address crime, terrorism, and immigration threats.
The INL program in South Africa has two components: 1) law enforcement reform and 2) combating wildlife trafficking. INL partners with the U.S. Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) to assist the Government of South Africa’s Police Service, Metropolitan Police Departments, and Civilian Secretariat for Police. The program builds management controls and accountability within South Africa’s criminal justice sector and provides trainings on sex crimes, counternarcotics, forensic crime scene investigations, and guidelines, directives, and regulations for updated legislation to increase knowledge on use of force and reduce targeted, bias-motivated violence against LGBTI persons. In the area of combating wildlife trafficking, we work with NGOs to build expertise to analyze and map the illicit wildlife trade in order to conduct more intelligence-driven investigations and improve communications between wildlife and criminal justice stakeholders.
The INL--ICITAP-led law enforcement program developed a seventeen-week Crime Scene Examiner course for mobile forensics training units who then provide crime scene examiners with training and certification throughout the country. Our training and mentorship also supports the Civilian Secretariat for Police, which oversees the National Strategy of Policing, the National Use-of-Force Policy, the National Anti-Gang Strategy, the Domestic Violence Act, Gender-Based Violence Policy; and the South African Police Service Investigation of Serial Rape and Serial Murder Policy. INL supported the development of a School Resource Officer program within the Cape Town Metropolitan Police. INL’s law enforcement program has funded sexual assault crime scene management training for first responders, domestic violence response training for metropolitan police, and basic training on countering trafficking in persons. This program also supports the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking and by strengthening law enforcement responses to wildlife crimes in South Africa.