RealNews

South Africa's growing private army

Crime has become big business in South Africa, and so has fighting it. In a kind of mirror image of the syndicates operating in various sectors of the underworld, an industry has developed to service people’s fear of being hijacked or robbed. Wherever there is a criminal opportunity, there is another in protection. Tucked in between an arrangement of office pot plants there’s a startling sign: “Keep off: Infantry bush game reserve: snakes and dangerous animals around.” And indeed, there are animals: some plastic snakes twisted around the dusty leaves, while a few goldfish stare balefully out of a murky fish tank. These are the Brakpan offices of the Anti Crime Force Training Academy and Guard Division. With energy and imagination to make up for a lack of resources, owner George Morake has tried to create a military atmosphere. The walls are festooned with flags and plastic replicas of the tools of the trade, walkie talkies, handcuffs and guns. Full Story

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