Louis Theroux, the British TV presenter and son of Paul, recently parachuted into South Africa to examine the policing of crime in Johannesburg for a BBC documentary. His investigation uncovered some startling insights into the dangers of everyday life.
The documentary focuses on private security companies, particularly Mapogo a Mathamaga which takes violent action against suspected criminals with little oversight. Louis also covers Bad Boyz who take over buildings and evict residents illegally, Red Ants evictions carried out by municipality forces, and local people taking justice into their own hands by killing criminals.
Louis bravely speaks to one criminal who talks about his methods, including attacking children, holding knives to necks and other methods that left even Louis shocked. But Louis does not take a moralising stance – instead he shines a light on the desperate situation many find themselves living in where faith in the police force has been completely lost.
This is an incredibly insightful look at daily life in South Africa and its relationship with law enforcement. If you’re interested in how crime can be policed differently around the world or would like to understand more about the issues faced by those living in Johannesburg then be sure to watch this powerful documentary from Louis Theroux.