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The Dirty Work of Democracy: A Year on the Streets with the SAPS

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A warts-and-all account of a year spent 'on the beat' with units of the South African Police Service. The author records his experiences with insight and sensitivity, but above all with honesty – there is no glamorisation of person or of job, nor is there camouflage of the shortcomings and flaws, even frequently the moral frailty, in the South African policing system and among some of its personnel. By the same token, he shows a deep sympathy for a police service generally trying hard, often under difficult conditions, to play its given role in a society whose incidence of lawlessness challenges the very capacity of its law-enforcement services.
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A warts-and-all account of a year spent 'on the beat' with units of the South African Police Service. The author records his experiences with insight and sensitivity, but above all with honesty – there is no glamorisation of person or of job, nor is there camouflage of the shortcomings and flaws, even frequently the moral frailty, in the South African policing system and among some of its personnel. By the same token, he shows a deep sympathy for a police service generally trying hard, often under difficult conditions, to play its given role in a society whose incidence of lawlessness challenges the very capacity of its law-enforcement services. Skilful characterisation introduces the reader to a number of interesting characters, on both sides of the legal divide, vividly and deftly drawn. The text provides an absorbing insight into the many-faceted psyche of the South African policeman. Altbeker uses language with skill; his text is fluent, and his expression sophisticated. His vivid descriptions, especially his evocation of the spirit of place and his use of metaphor, make this text readable at a level far deeper than that merely of an investigative narrative. His narrative, as he comments and reflects on the people and incidents recounted in the book, is thoughtful and informative, and his commentary is perceptively analytical. It sets the events that take place, many of them sordid, against a broader and more objective, at times even a philosophical, backdrop. *Corners a bit bumped, otherwise appears unread.*

Additional Info

Author Antony Altbeker
Publisher Jonathan Ball Publishers
Place Jeppestown
Year 2005
ISBN 9781868422302
Binding Paperback
Condition Good
Comments Corners a bit bumped, otherwise appears unread.

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