Autobiography of six years in the South African Police Force
Through the years, since Apartheid ended officially in 1994, a lot was written about the South African Police Force (SAP), the country’s National Police Force. Not all of the books were true to facts and many with a clear left-wing liberal political motive behind them.
Many “anti” books were published, especially by the mainstream publishing houses and although they have a function and fulfilled a financial need, the Mean Streets Series is not like that.
This is a story of a man, a junior officer that grew up in Apartheid South Africa and joined the Police at age 18 with the specific purpose to serve, to hunt criminals and terrorists and to kill them if needs be. He would go on to become an attorney at one of the most famous human rights law firms in Africa.
A mesmerizing story. For those that were not members of the SAP between 1985-1991, and most were not, this is the closest you will ever get to see the world from the policemen’s viewpoint: “Makes the world of a policeman come to life. Brilliant exposé of what it really feels like to have been part of the SAP during the years of apartheid. The author is painstakingly honest about his emotions and experiences during that time. A must read...” is one reviewer’s remarks.
“Outstanding book, 1 of 3 on the SAP by this author... Genuine honest look from the inside by one who was there, did that, got the T-shirt and all the rest” said another.
“These books provide an entertaining glimpse into not only the world of Law Enforcement but also into a department which has been under media attack for decades. Of course Apartheid was a terrible and racist system, and the police enforced those very laws, but the author does an excellent job in explaining the reasons behind this in a clear and concise manner. If you try to understand ANYTHING from the police point of view, the author's reasoning will answer some tough questions. The series is informative, funny, entertaining and a series I enjoyed reading...” wrote a former NYPD officer.
The various Mean Streets Books were read by many, criticized by some and loved by a lot more as an eye-opener to that closed world. The South African Police Force had almost nothing in common with a Sheriff's Department or the “Bobby on the Beat” – think Marines with police powers and you are closer to the truth. The highly trained policemen were fighting terrorists as mechanized infantry besides dealing with “normal” crime in between. The statistics show that most of the terrorists were killed by the South African Police Force, not the Army, during South Africa’s Border War. 98% of all terrorists inside South Africa died by police bullets.
The Police likewise had a decade more experience in counterinsurgency, learning their trade during the Rhodesian Bush War. Their daily duties involved dealing with vicious and brutal crime, counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and full-scale riots, depending on where they were.
The Mean Streets Book Series is a warning. They will show you what happens when unscrupulous politicians gain control of a highly disciplined Police Force and there is no “Bill of Human Rights” to stop them from implementing the country’s laws. No matter how unfair the laws may be or no matter what opposition is faced, these police officers will not turn a blind eye or walk away. They will react in kind every time and violently if provoked or not. They were feared with good reason - they were brutally effective and true to their traditions. Yet they also showed kindness and saved life at times.
This, the First Book in the Series is an account of the author's basic training and other provocative events at the South African Police College in Pretoria. It is not merely a police biography but an intense look at how an honourable Police Force became an “Instrument of Terror” mostly because of politics way above the policemen’s pay grade.
Funny, and insightful. At times you laugh, at times you cry, and sporadically you shake your head.