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SECURITY AND SOVEREIGNTY IN EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA Loren B. Landau Director, Forced Migration Studies Programme email@example.com February 2005
Accepted for publication in Millennium: Journal of International Studies
Forced Migration Working Paper Series #15 Forced Migration Studies Programme University of the Witwatersrand http://migration.wits.ac.za
Immigration and the State of Exception
The Forced Migration Studies Working Paper Series
This series provides a forum for researchers to publish preliminary findings on themes related to forced migration in Africa. These papers may be cited (including the full URL and the date downloaded), but reproduced only with direct permission of the author. Submissions are welcome by email or post directed to our research coordinator who serves as the series editor <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Authors whose work is included here are encouraged to resubmit papers for publication elsewhere. The previous ten working papers are:
Working Paper #14 F. Maphosa The Impact of Remittances from Zimbabweans Working in South Africa on Rural Livelihoods in the Southern districts of Zimbabwe. Working Paper #13 L. Landau, K. Ramjathan-Keogh, and G. Singh Xenophobia in South Africa and Problems Related to It. Working Paper #12 L. Landau, Five South African Migration Myths and A Manifesto for Pragmatism in Migration Management Working Paper #11 Loren Landau and Karen Jacobsen The Value of Transparency, Replicability, and Rrepresentativeness: A Response to Graeme Rodgers' "‘Hanging Out’ with Forced Migrants" Working Paper #10 Loren Landau and Sally Roever The Burden of Representation in Humanitarian Contexts: Survey Research on Mobile and Marginal Populations Working Paper #9 Fred Golooba Mutebi Witchcraft, Trust, and Reciprocity among Mozambican Refugees and Their South African Hosts in a Lowveld Village Working Paper #8 Tara Polzer "We Are All South Africans Now:" The Integration of Mozambican Refugees in Rural South Africa Working Paper #7 L. Landau The Laws of (In)Hospitality: Black Africans in South Africa Working Paper #6 L. Landau and K. Jacobsen Forced Migrants in the New Johannesburg Working Paper #5 T. R. Smith The Making of the South African (1998) Refugees Act Working Paper #4 L. Landau Challenge Without Transformation: Refugees, Aid, and Trade in Western Tanzania
2003). Karen Jacobsen. human mobility. and exclusion. 2002). ‘Mapping Political Power Beyond State Boundaries: Territory. emerging networks of corruption stemming from exceptionalism are challenging the liberal state’s mandate and creating incentive systems that leaders can no longer control. Although principles of state sovereignty may be nowhere more absolute than in matters of ‘emigration. responses from countries throughout the world. international financial institutions. November 2003). this article demonstrates that measures designed to alienate or liquidate non-national populations may be broadly popular. and Political Dilemmas. John Agnew. This paper was first presented at the 47th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association. 279. Antina von Schnitzler.4 With much of the world in some way affected by conflict. often extra-legal.L. and Movement in World Politics’. and Peter Geschiere for comments on earlier drafts. Amidst South Africa’s post-Apartheid transitions..’3 they are immediately tested by the near simultaneous arrival of internationally protected refugee populations and humanitarian actors. I thank Caroline Kihato. and migration management for the exercise of political power and suggest that exceptionalism not only threatens democratic principles. Occasional Paper Number 16 (Princeton: Institute for Advanced Study. but the subterranean and extra-legal practices they engender can criminalise the state and prevent leaders from re-establishing a normal legal order. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 28. 3 See Hannah Arendt. Linked Cities (London: Routledge. but migration and international humanitarianism often levy more immediate challenges to existing state forms and norms. Keohane (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. J. but may undermine the sovereignty it is designed to protect. In Tanzania. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 2 IMMIGRATION AND THE STATE OF EXCEPTION: SECURITY AND SOVEREIGNTY IN EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA1 Loren B. These effects depend on the measures employed while being conditioned by preexisting practices of state power.L. Through a comparison of Johannesburg.2 Multi-national corporations. 3 (1999): 499-522.B. Louisiana (11-14 November 2004). These findings illustrate the significance of immigration. the creation of temporary camps in response to a massive influx of refugees has generated spatially delimited extra-legality that is unlikely to threaten sovereignty. 1 . Gayatri Singh. naturalization. The Origins of Totalitarianism (2nd edition) (New York: Meridian Books 1958). eds. little is known about such exceptionalism’s lasting effects on the nature of political authority and territorial control. I have also benefited from discussions with Achille Mbembe and the comments of two anonymous reviewers. 4 See Robert Keohane ‘Political Authority after Intervention: Gradations in Sovereignty’ in Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical. no. New Orleans. Sovereignty. Brenda Chalfin. humanitarianism. Global Networks. 275-298. Humanitarianism. ed. Legal. and information technology are undeniably potent catalysts. ‘Working the Border in Ghana: Technologies of Sovereignty and its Others’. Landau Abstract The imperative to protect national territory from the unplanned movements of people across borders has generated exceptional. Holzgrefe and Robert O. South Africa and Western Tanzania’s Kasulu District. Although intended to reassert state sovereignty. and the State of Exception The increased insinuation of international actors into domestic political processes gives cause to reconsider the nation-state-territory trinity as a normative and analytical ideal. 2 See Saskia Sassen. nationality. Identity.
the state’s extra-legal responses not only affect both non-nationals and citizens.’5 Under such conditions. but by these economies’ power to limit the state’s ‘power to decide’. In doing so. In Tanzania. State of Exception (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Whereas Tanzania isolated nonnationals in temporary. Homo Sacer. In doing so. The remainder of this essay focuses on an increasingly common strategy for reasserting sovereignty against perceived threats associated with the arrival of refugees and other non-nationals: declaring a state of exception. 5 6 Giorgio Agamben. Although the two countries are incomparable in many ways—one being a classically weak state. 2005). 1. These exceptional measures are by definition paradoxical. they may also forfeit their identity as legal beings. being legally sanctioned but outside the law creating ‘the legal form of what cannot have legal form. the responses will prove truly exceptional as the affected region returns to something approximating the status quo ante. the lasting effects of exceptionalism will differ. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 3 and humanitarian intervention. to restore the normal legal order (the power to decide). when desired. but become contingent on the sovereign’s ability to maintain control over authorised practices (the power of law) and. there is a need to recognise the political configurations these phenomena engender. Agamben. . This essay examines two instances in which sovereign states.L. far less delimited and targets people residing in its economic and political centres. internationally funded camps located on the country’s political and territorial margins. Although the South African state is objectively ‘stronger. authority and sovereignty cease to be bound by legislation. 15. immigration has become a perennial and irreversible feature of South Africa’s post-apartheid urban landscape. a liberal state that lacks the institutions or resources to realise its Constitutional commitments. These not only include cancerous economies of corruption.6 Exceptionalism can also create categories of people within the national territory—refugees and undocumented migrants for example—who become alienated from their hitherto inalienable human rights. but risk being institutionalised in essential state agencies and departments. South Africa’s exceptionalism is. Through exceptionalism. Tanzania and South Africa. governments consciously suspend elements of their normal legal order to address crises they feel threaten sovereignty. Two primary factors explain the divergent effects of the countries’ exceptional responses to the arrival of refugees and undocumented migrants. While considerable parallels exist.B. The first stems from Tanzania’s de facto ability to physically and chronologically delimit the state of exception. consequently.’ the nature of immigration combined with its administrative integration and historically conditioned commitments to universal legal principles mean its exceptionalism will have greater lasting effects. the other a regional hegemon—they nevertheless illustrate how responses to the perceived threats of refugees and undocumented migrants are transforming sovereign practices. have authorised exceptional responses to the arrival of non-nationals.
1980). Western Tanzania’s institutional frailty created conditions where extra-legality does not fundamentally change the state’s relationship to its territory or citizens.7 Instead of threatening the existing political order. we must also consider the role of non-state actors and noncoercive influences in maintaining and destabilising political regimes. no.10 This is markedly evident in humanitarian contexts where non-governmental organizations (NGOs). 16. extra-legal measures are exceptional largely for exhibiting an uncharacteristically high level of state activity. I find two. Agamben. or rights protection. or protect citizens’ human rights endangers its legitimacy and the bases of its sovereignty. the presence of a vilified. and refugees are critical determinants of political practice. DC: American Psychological Association 2001). Weberian) nationstate pegs sovereignty on standardised control of a national territory. as they are across much of Africa. H. When public institutions are weak. . that 7 See Paul Kaiser. their sovereignty is also at risk. Negara: The Theatre State in Nineteenth Century Bali (Princeton: Princeton University Press.B. Gerth and C. 77-128. in From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology. For comparative reference. achieve administrative justice. eds. ‘Beyond the Losers: Transforming Governmental Practice in Refugee-Affected Tanzania’. my treatment of sovereign practices travels still further from that typically informing political scientific and legal studies. security. ‘Politics as a Vocation’. Seligman (Washington. The Journal of Modern African Studies 34 (1996): 227-237. Agamben argues. as leaders prove unable to counter the corruption exceptionalism has engendered. The ideal modern (i. Wright Mills (New York: Oxford University Press. 1946). ‘Structural Adjustment and the Fragile Nation: The Demise of Social Unity in Tanzania’. Journal of Refugee Studies. they lose both the power of law and the power to decide. I draw these principles and norms from a combination of Weber.9 However. For present purposes.8 This contrasts vividly with South Africa where an expanded set of expectations for services and regulation—mandated and regulated by a powerful Constitution and judiciary—means that any practice compromising the state’s ability to provide security. foreign ‘other’ is strengthening citizens’ one expectation for the state: that it serves as the symbolic centre of Tanzanian national virtues and values. Sovereignty in Humanitarian Contexts My approach to sovereignty interrogates the localised practices that realise legal principles and international norms. 9 Max Weber. aid agencies. and Possible Solutions. 8 See Loren Landau.L. see Clifford Geertz. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 4 The second factor explaining exceptionalism’s divergent consequences derives from the historically informed contexts in which the declaration occurred.e. For rural Tanzanians with few expectations for public services. they can easily eclipse state agents and domestic legislation. E. Aili Mari Tripp and Crawford Young. In Weber’s Westphalian perspective. in Ethnopolitical Warfare: Causes. Daniel Chirot and M. Consequences. 259-274. eds. however.. H. 1 (2003): 19-43. ‘The Accommodation of Cultural Diversity in Tanzania’. With these gone. By invoking Agamben. Moreover. P. critical components of modern sovereignty: territorial integrity and the state’s monopolization on legitimate violence as mandated by supreme law. and others.
Journal of Refugee Studies 13. no. Gene Lyons and Michael Mastanduno (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. but are not constrained by it. Many are regulated by international agencies working outside normal domestic laws.12 Hitler’s rise to power is evidence of this danger while Agamben fears the Anglo-American ‘war on terror’ may have similarly dire consequences for liberal democracies and the rights they are sworn to uphold. monopolies of violence. Jennifer Hyndman. they are often practically zones of exception.’16 See Tim Mitchell. ‘Assessing the Impact of the Rwandan Refugee Crisis on Development Planning in Rural Tanzania. 15 Tony Waters. the state authorises its agents to act outside the law in an anomalous zone where they retain the power of law. Human Organization 58 (1999):142-152. the camps are simply declared exceptional spaces where normal law does not apply. 16 Thomas G. 2 (2000): 205-222. and exceptional exercises of state power is well suited for studying environments occupied by significant non-national populations and/or international humanitarian actors.L. quoting Tingsten.13 Leaders may also judge the danger of foreign invasion adequately acute to justify denying the humanity of non-nationals attempting to enter or living within their countries. ‘sovereignty becomes an elastic term that refers to a category of social and political organization that is linked geographically to delimited territory . as in Northern Kenya where the central government authorised the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to oversee hundreds of thousands of Somali and Sudanese refugees. Although humanitarian spaces—particularly refugee camps— typically remain under the legal control of domestic states. American Political Science Review 85. 10 . 1995): 100. 14 See Human Rights Watch. (New York: Human Rights Watch.’ Under such conditions. however. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 5 when this control is threatened. 12 Ibid. Such anomalies may be shaped by policy directives. State of Exception. Weiss and Jarat Chopra. ‘Sovereignty under Siege: From Intervention to Humanitarian Space’. that leaders often inflate or fabricate the threats used to justify such declarations. in Beyond Westphalia? eds.. 2003). M. . 1 (1991): 77-96. ‘The Limits of the State: Beyond Statist Approaches and Their Critics’. 11 Giorgio Agamben. Managing Displacement: Refugees and the Politics of Humanitarianism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.15 In all of these cases. 13 See Marc-Antoine Perouse de Montclos and P. ‘Refugee Camps or Cities? The SocioEconomic Dynamics of the Dadaab and Kakuma Camps in Northern Kenya’. 2.14 Such zones also emerge informally. Humanitarian interventions can be classified as yet another exception to the anomaly of sovereignty. Kagwanja. 7. 2000). the true sovereign can break from this uniformity and declare a ‘state of exception. he warns that the ‘systematic and regular exercise of the institution necessarily leads to the ‘liquidation of democracy’ and the possibility of tyranny. Moreover.11 Agamben recognises.B. In other instances. . no. With this. responses to displacement—humanitarian or otherwise—represent a break from ‘normal’ governmental practice. An understanding of sovereignty that considers territorial integrity. with powerful and wellresourced international agencies effectively making decisions without consulting domestic authorities (but with their acquiescence). Fleeting Refuge: The Triumph of Efficiency over Protection in Dutch Asylum Policy. the interplay of domestic and international actors. 1994-1996’.
Responding to xenophobia—not just discrimination. example. State of Exception. The assimilation or liquidation of foreigners—responses to refugees normalised in the years following World War Two17—are now increasingly complemented by situations in which foreigners in a territory for extended periods. exceptionalism not only leads to the abuse of rights. Increasingly.npr. and political processes. but generates forces that erode sovereignty and resist a return to normalcy.hrw. ‘We Refugees’. Other scholars are rapidly producing accounts supporting Agamben’s claim exceptionalism is becoming ‘the dominant paradigm of government in contemporary politics’. a priori. but in exceptional condition.org/templates/story/story.19 One sees this in practices near the US-Mexico border. Kenneth Roth and Julia Hall. they are. http://www. 18 17 .1342901. (Washington DC: National Public Radio.L. Within this permanent liminality. denied the rights to appeal and legal representation granted common criminals. In this zone. but the creation of an alternative order that Arendt.htm. ‘Human Rights Group Slams EU Asylum Plans’. ‘Closed-door Immigration Policy is Shameful Vision. 20 Deutsche Welle. 2. State of Exception.html) 21 Agamben. but not the only. many non-nationals are subjected to illegal harassment and abuse. (Bonn: Deutsche Welle.18 Yet they can not be forced home. Giorgio Agamben. See also.1564. Translated by Michael Rocke (European Graduate School. http://www.de/dw/article/0. 2.edu/faculty/agamben/agamben-we-refugees. 30 September 2004. They are instead subjected to states’ unbridled and potentially arbitrary power. Origins of Totalitarianism. Agamben explores exceptionalism’s legal genealogy with far more subtlety than is needed.html.org/english/docs/2004/09/16/eu9351_txt. and even more explicitly under the US Patriot Act and the European Union’s proposals to process asylum claims outside its territorial boundaries.00. 17 November 2004. 19 Agamben.php?storyId=4173701). Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 6 The anomalous spaces created through international humanitarianism and domestic responses to non-nationals are creating new ways of managing the world’s ‘stateless people’.’ European Voice (16 September 2004) http://www. either because the state lacks the capacity to do so or it is prohibited by international law. but empirically substantiate these claims. This is not so much the instrumentalisation of corruption many describe. 284 Daniel Zwerdling ‘U. but a belief that nonnationals’ inherently threaten security and a national ethos—even liberal states are taking extraordinary measures intended to regulate and exclude non-nationals from full (or any) participation in domestic social.S. 1997).B. economic. Instead of suggesting that exceptionalism leads to the consolidation of power in tyrants’ hands. Decades old refugee camps are the most obvious. Detainee Abuse Cases Fall Through the Cracks’. http://www. however. this essay outlines an alternative scenario: by fostering economies of corruption and new political logics.21 Many of these accounts warn of the slippery slope between exceptionalism and absolutism. in Australia’s ‘Pacific Solution’ to asylum seekers. these measures create a category of people that are extra-legal: who live in a realm that is beyond the law.egs.dw-world.20 The exceptional practices mentioned above establish an evident paradox in which leaders feel compelled to protect their states’ universalistic legal principles and commitment to human rights through extra-legal efforts that violate them both.
South Africa’s institutional resources. estimates now place the number of non-nationals at somewhere near one million amidst a citizenry of almost 45 million. aid agencies. 3 (1996): 291-302. 22 . Monograph No. the two nonetheless illustrate potential consequences of such responses. Jean-François Bayart. and the undeniable influence of international aid and humanitarian actors. Stephen Ellis.B. my findings draw attention to a range of other explanatory factors including the specific forms of migration (mis)management and the historical. and Southern Africa. a priori. In South Africa. In inner city Johannesburg—the focus of this essay—estimates put the numbers at close to 25% of the total. a rise from 66. 25 Ted Leggett. presents a strong. and public institutions. East. 24 See Jonathan Crush and Vincent Williams. 1999). prosperity. Ellis.22 If these are as central to sovereignty as Agamben argues. The combination of Tanzania’s weak administrative structures.000 of the foreign-born population.23 Indeed. the gradual arrival of modest numbers of non-nationals. and Béatrice Hibou. ‘Rainbow Tenement: Crime and Policing in Inner Johannesburg’. Journal of Refugee Studies 9. continue to attract significant numbers of asylum seekers. 1-3. Africa Works: Disorder as Political Instrument (Oxford: International African Institute in Association with James Currey.205 to 102. particularly in the country’s primary cities. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 7 undermines state leaders’ ‘power of law’ and their ‘power to decide’. (Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies. the foreign-born population of Gauteng Province (home to Johannesburg and Pretoria) increased from 4. and other migrants from Central. leaders seeking to protect sovereignty through exceptionalism may find they have created forces that rob them of it. By confounding these expectations. ‘The Tanzanian Government’s Response to the Rwandan Emergency’. and spatial context in which non-nationals engage with citizens. although poor record keeping makes it impossible to know.4% in 2001. These two countries’ stability. 1999). J. (Cape Town: Southern Africa Migration Project. and the almost total absence of operational aid agencies do not. Conversely. 23 See Bonaventure Rutinwa. According to Statistics South Africa. ‘Making up the Numbers: Measuring ‘Illegal Immigration’ to South Africa’. See Patrick Chabal and Jean-Pascal Daloz. no.25. Refugees and asylum seekers probably account for around 40. Hibou (Oxford: James Currey. and B. reason to expect fundamental transformations in the practice of sovereignty. 3. 2003).24 Although a relatively modest number. While differences between the two countries frustrate direct comparison. 2001). Migration Policy Brief No. many government officials working in the affected region vociferously complain of their authority being usurped. Evaluating Sovereignty in Tanzania and South Africa Johannesburg and Western Tanzania are almost ideal environments for witnessing the effects of exceptional responses to immigration. a priori.L.326 people. The numbers are likely to continue climbing due to ongoing crisis in neighbouring Zimbabwe. tolerance and (in South Africa). Bayart. non-nationals are highly visible. refugees. ‘From Kleptocracy to the Felonious State’ in The Criminalization of the State in Africa. eds. 78.8% of to the total population in 1996 to 5. a sustained influx of refugees from war torn central Africa. present a terrific threat to the normal order. S. political.
I collected data between 2002 and 2005.29 In South Africa. 26 . ‘Assessing the Impact’.000 Tanzanian residents. Mpwapwa. The first. one of which has experienced a humanitarian influx. compete in local markets. The Journal of Modern African Studies 5 (1967):13-51. refugees in Western Tanzania are housed in internationally managed. ‘Political Socialization in Kenya and Tanzania-A Comparative Analysis’.28 I draw on an ecumenical set of data in demonstrating immigration and exceptionalism’s effects on state sovereignty in South Africa and Tanzania. By contrast. At the time of data collection (1999-2000). 4 (2002): 339-358.L. see Loren Landau. is located in Kigoma Region. Tanzania. In Kasulu District. close to Burundi on the country’s Western border. For more on the 1999-2000 research. In Tanzania. In line with its liberal principles. a figure dwarfing the district government’s 1. purpose-built camps where they remain relatively isolated from local populations. social services and food for the camps through a multi-million dollar a month care and feeding operation. particularly refugees.000 legally recognised refugees. To compare the districts. and NGO representatives.000-50. I compare two generally similar districts. The two countries employed significantly different responses to the non-nationals in their respective territories. Beth Elise Whitaker. the area examined here.B. ongoing violence in neighbouring Burundi and the Democratic of Republic of Congo (DRC) saw the numbers rise from 7. replicated a 1966 survey in four secondary schools (two in each district. 1(2003): 19-43. and move freely within the country. Tanzania hosted over 680. Journal of Refugee Studies 15. This includes new survey research (hereafter.000 in the district living outside of the camps. asylum seekers.000 in 2000.27 Where international aid is relatively insignificant in South Africa. the Wits-Tufts survey) together with formal and informal interviews with migrants. no. service providers.000 non-nationals living among the district’s 320. are even more visible in Western Tanzania. I conducted more than 90 interviews with citizens over a 14-month period (1999-2000).400 in 1995 to around 143. Kasulu. almost one third of the district’s residents were foreign-born.8 million dollar annual budget. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 8 Non-nationals. The second. 27 See Waters. The survey was administered in February and March 2003 in seven central Johannesburg neighbourhoods with high densities of African immigrants and Figures provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Dar es Salaam. With close to 200. 28 The World Food Programme’s food distribution program alone (covering four Western Tanzanian districts) was a million dollar a week operation. no. see David Koff and George Von Der Muhll.26 Government and aid agency estimates suggest there were at least another 30. ‘Refugees in Western Tanzania: The Distribution of Burdens and Benefits Among Local Hosts’. drew on archival sources. South Africa relies on a laissez-faire approach where immigrants. but is located in the centre of the country (Dodoma Region) where it sees few refugees. and advocates. n=272). United Nations. and interviewed over 100 government. and refugees receive no only minimal assistance from international or domestic agencies. 29 For additional details on the 1966 survey. This says nothing of the resources brought in or exchanged by other aspects of the relief operation or by refugees and aid workers. ‘Beyond the Losers: Transforming Governmental Practice in Refugee-Affected Tanzania’. has a similar socio-economic profile to Kasulu. Journal of Refugee Studies 16. primarily in Johannesburg neighbourhoods directly affected by immigration.
the period when the non-national population in Johannesburg’s inner city first rapidly grew. and Yeoville. The remainder (53%) selfidentified as South African. Disasters 27 no. R. a 71% increase coinciding with the refugees’ arrival.30 Although much of the discussion centres on Johannesburg. and murder—has grown much faster than elsewhere in the country. There were also unconfirmed reports of Burundian rebels crossing into Tanzania to refresh supplies through theft and extortion.31 A heightened police presence and subsequent increases in arrests explain some of this increase. and their combined effects on sovereignty. Due to the district’s proximity to ongoing conflict in Burundi. ‘The Dual Imperative in Refugee Research: Some Methodological and Ethical Considerations in Social Science Research on Forced Migration’. Bezuidenhout Valley. I also draw on national surveys and examples from other urban centres. flood—officials have adopted exceptional practices that contravene international human rights norms and constitutional principles.L. and 1% from Burundi. Of the total sample. the most recent available at the time. 30 . but there is little doubt that the actual number of violent offences—armed assault. Janine Rauch. For additional details on the survey and the methods employed. rape. available data illustrate the coincidence of insecurity and foreigners. However unfounded assertions of the threat foreigners pose may be.101-123. Rosettenville. Mayfair. influx. Tomlinson. in Emerging Johannesburg: Perspectives on the Post-apartheid City. A. Calculations are based on adjusted 1988 census figures. R.B. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 9 included 737 respondents. 12% from Angola. and Graeme Simpson. Vilification and Violence In both Tanzania and South Africa. 2003). eds. 9% from Ethiopia. and X. 31 Figures furnished by the Kigoma Regional Police Command. ‘Violent Crime in Johannesburg’. L. widespread xenophobia—fostered by politicians and citizens— has coded the growing foreign population as a threat to the nation. the varied form of state responses. Bertrams. 2% from the Republic of Congo. Although the data were not explicitly intended for comparative purposes. 14% were from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Fordsburg. Beauregard. Between 1996 and 2000. small arms flow easily into the region and AK-47 assault rifles and other similar weapons were available for between 15-20 US dollars. The remainder of this essay explores these themes. 8% from Somalia. 53% South Africans and 47% non-nationals. 32 Ingrid Palmary. see Karen Jacobsen and Loren Landau. many of Johannesburg’s immigrant-affected neighbourhoods have become centres of violence and fear. they reveal striking similarities in attitudes towards foreigners. Bremner. 3 (2003): 95-116. its territory. and the political order.32 Although the government’s reluctance to release statistics makes it difficult to draw conclusions about the rate or cause of crime. robberies with firearms nearly doubled and The survey was conducted in Berea. the undeniable coincidence between declining security and an increasingly visible foreign presence in both Western Tanzania and Johannesburg mean few citizens have protested such responses. As in Western Tanzania. Mangcu (London: Routledge. In Kasulu district (Tanzania) the number of reported criminal cases rose from 1 for every 253 permanent residents before the influx (1993) to 1 for every 148 residents in 2000. Often employing the language of war or natural disaster—invasion.
they are good. 35 Interview No. they steal from the farms. Williams. ‘They kill people. ‘Crime has increased because of all the different kinds of people that are here now…That is the problem. 17. Kasulu District (17 December 1999). in the same breath as a senior Kasulu police officer described the small proportion of non-nationals arrested over the last twelve months. it is all Burundians who have this bad character. It is not just the refugees. the army is helping the police get rid of crime and violence in the country. Crime and Policing in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Transforming Under Fire (Bloomington: Indiana University Press.33 Much of this is undoubtedly linked to the ineffective transformation of the post-Apartheid police and the arrival of thousands of unemployed. ‘We are completely different. (Kasulu. These opinions are reflected (and in turn fostered) by government officials.L. a schoolteacher concluded. 1 in Mugombe village (6 March 2000). Joe Modise. Tanzanians are not like this. Importantly.34 Regardless of the actual cause. then Defence Minister. 13 October 2000). 1 in Kanazi village.38 Even casual conversations with South Africans also include tropes linking foreigners to the proliferation of drug and weapons syndicates. they have a rotten character. prostitution. However.’ Kasulu District. and confidence scams. 2003). more of the Tanzanians interviewed in Kasulu mentioned refugees as the primary source of crime than all others combined.B. few Tanzanian or South African citizens doubt the link between crime and the foreign presence. Such perceptions are particularly pronounced in those areas with significant non-national populations: The Wits-Tufts survey found that more than three quarters of South Africans respondents in Johannesburg who thought that crime had increased (70%) identified immigrants as the primary reason. Tanzania. but linked to the refugees’ inherent. See also Jonathan Crush and Vincent. smuggling rings. Rainbow Tenement. what can we do? We have one million illegal Leggett. see also Loren Landau. 7 (2005): 1115-1134. ‘Criminal Tendencies: Immigrants and Illegality in South Africa’. Mark Shaw. Nativism and the Rule of Law in South Africa’s “Forbidden” Cities’. In 1997. he confidently reported that the foreigners were behind almost all of the district’s crime. essential character. Third World Quarterly. (Cape Town: Southern Africa Migration Project. Migration Policy Brief No. 10. black South Africans in white areas that were once relatively prosperous. 34 33 . 3 in Kasulu (14 March 2000). there is nothing else. 37 Interview No. 2002). ‘Urbanization. While admitting past commonalities between the local population (the Ha) and the Burundian (largely Hutu) refugees in the district. Rainbow Tenement. 26 no. 39 See also Leggett. As one Tanzanian explained. Interview with the Assistant Superintendent of Police ‘Crimes Officer. this ascription of criminality is not situationally specific. remarked: As for crime.’35 Indeed. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 10 the number of assaults with intent to cause grievous bodily harm also sharply increased. 52. 38 Rashioi Mgonyani.’37 More significantly for present purposes. 36 Interview No.’36 Another respondent was no less equivocal.39 Others indirectly condemn foreigners by blaming them for unemployment and declining moral values.
the xenophobic Home Affairs Minister. 61% felt it would be a good thing if the all of the refugees left the country. telling them that they have not only brought instability but also scared off investors. Asylum-Seekers. publicly decried the presence of ‘30 Nigerians on every corner’ of his city each presumably waiting to sell drugs or sex. 42 Jo Beal. now we can blame you for everything’. and Susan Parnell. ‘Prohibited Persons’ Abuse of Undocumented Migrants. 2002. That is the real problem. . Amos Masondo. Politicians. . bureaucrats. In 2004.B. 41 Statement made at the South African Cities Network’s Strategic Planning meeting of mayors and officials (Johannesburg: 1-3 February 2004). Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 11 immigrants in our country who commit crimes and who are mistaken by some people for South African citizens. 44 Interview No. then Vice-President Omar pointed to the refugees as an excuse for the fact that these people have nothing. both widely associated with migrants. Tanzania.). 6 October 2000). Tanzania Electoral Monitoring Commission. and Refugees in South Africa (New York: Human Rights Watch.L. and the police in both countries have also capitalised on the presence of foreigners and international agencies to promote their own interests and elude blame for their failings. the threats foreigners pose to the nation’s physical and economic security can only be eradicated through their alienation and eventual removal from the national territory. In the words of one Tanzanian respondent. ‘Thank you.41 In the words of an immigrant living in Johannesburg. (London: Earthscan. but suggests a deeper fear of confusion between the native and the foreigner. (Kasulu. Uniting a Divided City: Governance and Social Exclusion in Johannesburg. Johannesburg’s Mayor.42 During the 2000 Tanzanian general elections.’44 Among Tanzanian secondary school students (n=150). Interview with Election Monitor. that you are here. The President’s speech in a neighbouring district spoke of the refugees making the region ‘living hell. 40 . provide further evidence of the dangers foreigners pose to the body politic. a sentiment easily justifying measures to mark and alienate non-nationals. are continuously spread by everyone that foreigners are responsible for whatever is wrong. although is not alone. In South Africa. foreigners. There are good people here in Tanzania. Rumours . 3 in Kanazi village (10 March 2000). Mangosuthu Buthelezi (who served from 1994-2004) was a leader in this regard. Owen Crankshaw.40 This statement not only highlights the physical danger foreigners (evidently) present. 1998).’43 High levels of gender-based violence and the omnipresent threat of HIV/AIDS. It is like. 124. ‘I will be very happy if they go back. 43 Usia Nkhoma. so it is good for them to go back to their homes. The figures are even more dramatic in South Africa where a 1998 national survey found that 87% of citizens throughout the country felt that the country was letting in too many Human Rights Watch. For many South Africans and Tanzanians. 124. South Africans do not look at their own – they just ignore their own problems and pretend that foreigners cause all their problems.
citizens and petty-government officials recounted a comparable statement on numerous occasions. many claim the district’s highest ranking government official had proclaimed that. a township outside of Cape Town passed a resolution expelling all foreigners and prohibited them from returning.’ Even if a rumour.8%) not only supported tighter immigration restrictions. Indeed. In 2002. ‘Protecting Human Rights: Recent Cases – Du Noon Expulsion of Foreign Nationals. Although more senior officials denied its veracity.org.B. Rather. the lack of a concerted effort to counter the assertion allowed it to take on the power of fact. in Forced Migrants in the New Johannesburg: Towards a Local Government Response. 2003). Declaring the State of Exception In the schema outlined above. http://www. 47 In Jonathan Crush and Vincent Williams. reflecting prevailing sentiment among government officials. isolation.L.47 In Tanzania. they are not only morally inferior. accessed 1 October 2004. Loren Landau (Johannesburg: Forced Migration Studies Programme. See Victor Southwell.’ Migration Policy Brief. but felt it would be good if refugees and immigrants left the country. or assimilation.’48 45 Cited in Tebogo Segale. A 2002 statement from South Africa’s former Minister of Home Affairs attempts to justify stepping outside the law to achieve those ends: Approximately 90% of foreign persons who are in RSA with fraudulent documents. 50.46 Many spontaneously suggested the need for mass incarceration or deportation. Through mutually supportive sentiments and statements. ‘Criminal Tendencies: Immigrants and Illegality in South Africa. ‘Forced Migrants and Social Exclusion in Johannesburg’. Tanzanian and South African leaders and citizens effectively code foreigners as inherent dangers: threats akin to epidemics and invasion. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 12 foreigners.e. i. 10 (Cape Town: Southern Africa Migration Project. either citizenship or migration documents. The following section describes official. ‘security is primarily the duty of the citizens.htm). ‘we don’t want to see any more of those foreign bandits brought here. exceptional efforts to accomplish these objectives. non-nationals are understood as acute threats made all the more dangerous for the ease with which they conceal themselves among the citizenry. 2004). 46 Such sentiments are not limited to Johannesburg. ed. People must deal with them themselves. a prison warden—a state agent paid to protect the citizenry—confidently proclaimed that.sahrc.. 48 Interview No. the only way to protect the citizenry is through expulsion and. . but their violent tendencies are immune to education. 1 in Kasulu (14 March 2000).45 In the Wits-Tufts survey. almost two thirds of South African respondents (64. if that is not an option. For many citizens. integration.za/protecting_human_rights_vol3no1. are involved in other crimes as well…it is quicker to charge these criminals for their false documentation and then to deport them than to pursue the long route in respect of the other crimes that are committed. The perceived dangers associated with their presence in turn levy strong pressure on the state to take action to control and/or liquidate non-nationals.’ Online report from South African Human Rights Commission (Report dated 2002.
such pronouncements effectively licence targeting and restraining non-nationals by whatever means state officials and citizens deem appropriate. state agents were required to operate within international conventions and supervision parameters determined by the donors. 52 Jean-François Durieux. ‘what is happening around the camps. 11 April 2000). As a senior researcher with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) bluntly stated.B. With international funding. ‘the security of the refugee camps as humanitarian space. ‘we are not keeping people posted along the border. They do. coupled with a passive acceptance of vigilantism. they risked surrendering these rights.’51 In describing the state’s response. 2002). in the volatile border areas. Indeed. Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit. ‘The only thing that is clear is that the system is not really working as planned. nevertheless. 49 . Director. the millions of dollars dedicated to policing the camps did little to protect locals or refugees. 50 Effort to create these spaces started taking shape in January 1998 when the UNHCR and the Tanzanian government began implementing a joint security initiative with an annual budget of approximately two million US dollars for police mobilizations allowances. and construction of a new police post at Makere village (Kasulu district) and a special processing facility north of the district (Mwisa). while the Tanzanian Government claimed. represent official endorsement or tacit acceptance of systems in which government officials (albeit at different levels of the official hierarchy) legitimise or help create parallel—extra-legal—systems for policing foreigners. If they strayed more than 3 km beyond the camp. 2. refugees were denied the human rights guaranteed citizens. is largely beyond their grasp— though it is theoretically within their purview. What we have is people stationed in some areas waiting for something to Marjon Kamara. Tanzania has employed extra police to contain refugees in specially designated camps in an effort to ensure that.’49 Although this support went to Tanzanian police. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 13 The statements cited above do not signify the kind of formal institution of a state exception seen with declarations of war or martial law. despite their presence within the national boundaries.L. given the presumed links between foreigners and crime. this was an impressive response. 1999). More importantly. that it had dispatched. drawn from other parts of the country and stationed just outside the refugee camps. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs. 53 Government of Tanzania/UNHCR. their primary task was to alienate non-nationals from the politics of both the hosting country and their countries of origin: anomalous physical sites set outside normal national laws. Dar es Salaam. 51 Interview with Jeff Crisp. ‘Preserving the Civilian Character of Refugee Camps: Lessons from the Kigoma Refugee Programme in Tanzania’. (Kigoma: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. a former Regional Head of Office for UNCHR in Kigoma wrote. In practice. A senior military spokesman even admitted that. ‘Security Arrangements in the Refugee Areas’.50 At these sites.’52 Similarly. transport and fuel. UNHCR (Geneva. ‘an important military presence along the border…to protect the integrity of Tanzania’s territory. (Dar es Salaam: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). but were ostensibly protected by international law. For a district with a pre-influx delegation of only 20 police (almost all stationed in the district capital). (Tanzania. in documents sent to the UNHCR in Geneva. The Tanzanian government was to contribute almost 100 extra police officers for Kasulu. Unpublished letter written to B.53 there was in fact only a minimal effort in this regard. Mchomvu. ‘Joint Tanzanian Government/UNHCR Assessment of the Security Situation in and Around Refugee Camps in Kagera and Kigoma Regions’.
In Kasulu. Tanzania’s ill-orchestrated effort to restore order through exceptional measures contrasts sharply with South Africa’s more sophisticated response that draws on the country’s administrative infrastructure. Kasulu residents were almost half as likely to go to police if they were a victim of crime as those interviewed in central Tanzania. As a result. the expanded Tanzanian police force managed an impressive number of arrests for petty offences.B. the right to be recognised everywhere as a person before the law (s14). most Kasulu residents reported doing nothing or turning to local ‘vigilante’ groups that have been mandated by the state to help maintain order. 55 See Ray Abrahams. the impact of additional police was similarly minimal. No one was safe from abuse or sexual assault.) and Mndolwa (Brigadier General). and the right against arbitrary deportation (s16). the police made no effort to investigate the incident. some respondents report having their identity papers confiscated or destroyed in order justify an arrest or facilitate a bribe. 54 . they had taken on almost complete authority to arrest. Although ineffective at alienating non-nationals or controlling crime. rapidly outstripping the capacity of district courts and prisons. the right to be treated with humanity and with respect (s9). and networks of corruption that affected non-nationals and foreigners. African Affairs 86 (1987):179-196. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 14 do. Assistant Military Spokesmen. to which South Africa is a signatory. violence. During this time. making them non-people in the state’s eyes. Although formally under orders to respect non-nationals’ rights. but simply accepted it as a justified response. ‘Sungusungu: Village Vigilante Groups in Tanzania’. Tanzania (25 October 2000). the right to equality before the courts and tribunals (s10). Not only do they often refuse to recognise non-national’s identity documents. Even where there was severe or fatal violence against untried suspects. When asked about incidents in which they had been victimised. Although such groups exist elsewhere in Tanzania. with few in Kasulu even aware of the new measures. Dar es Salaam. (One respondent even reported being detained for a missing bicycle pedal. they were kept together with convicts and received few of the protections designated by law.) This overcrowding subsequently bred irregularities within the courts. without reference to published national law or standards. Pressure to reduce overcrowding and clear the backlog of pending cases also saw many serious cases dismissed on technicalities or payment of a small ‘fee’ while suspects for pettycrimes spent months waiting for preliminary hearings. and often kill suspects. 56 The South African Human Rights Commission (1997) argues that under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).’54 Among the villagers.55 they are expected to work together with regular police. police often exploit popular opinion and their official mandate in attempting to control foreigners.L. even undocumented migrants have rights against arbitrary arrest or detention (s5).56 This is not only expensive and a threat to dignity. Former inmates describe bargaining their paltry food allocations simply to find floor space on which to sleep. Along with Statement made during an interview with Kilonzo (Col. but effectively denies non-nationals a legal identity. and semi-private agencies. try. The courts and prisons’ ineffectiveness also justified many Tanzanians further disregarding official regulatory institutions. specialised immigration laws. Ministry of Defence.
say that I was to shut up and if I wasn’t shut up. But when we walk down these streets. [and] one of them just removed something like a little shocker. occasionally. police officers force entry. A Sierra Leonean man recounts his experience as follows: The police asked me for my refugee paper. . undocumented non-nationals. More importantly.59 Without muscle of their own. demand identity documents. to the American Patriot Act of 26 October 2001 that authorises the Attorney General to detain aliens suspected of endangering national security and a military order issued by President Bush (13 November 2001) abrogating the seven-day limit on holding aliens without charge or expulsion. . if not substance. a joint operation launched by the City of Johannesburg and the Department of Home Affairs deployed helicopters and almost 1. while many South Africans see such harassment as a legitimate form of territorial control. ‘f-ck you’ and they just tear the paper and seize my money and cellphone . I was shouting . .000 private security officers in a thinly disguised effort to rid the city of unwanted foreigners in the name of crime prevention and urban renewal.’ Indeed. 58 57 .B. potentially. and arrest both non-nationals and South Africans with little respect for normal legal provisions. Often conducted at night and away from oversight. . officials managed to confiscate four illegal firearms—modest by Johannesburg standards—and arrest 198 illegal immigrants. Soon after South Africa’s first Quoted in Palmary. (often) poor documentation. what they do is take me to the police station. immigration agents rely on the South African Police Services (SAPS) and. In Tanzania. he was going to shock me until I die. the National Defence Forces to make arrests. This provision bears remarkable similarities in spirit. .57 Non-nationals’ tenuous legal status. They say. which effectively authorises Department of Home Affairs’ agents to conduct searches. and tendency to trade on the street (hawking or informal business) have led some police officers have come to see foreigners as ‘mobileATMs. the threats to the legal order outlined above have been formally endorsed by the 2002 Immigration Act. we pay. Private Communication (7 May 2004). This is not the only effort to rid the city of foreigners. which had not yet expired. ‘as foreign students we are not required to pay taxes to the government.’58 In the words of one Eritrean living in Johannesburg. In September 2003. . arrests. Non-nationals are simply too vulnerable or marginalised to object to this treatment.L. such apprehensions are often accompanied by violence. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 15 financial exploitations. 59 See Section 3 (Powers of Department) in the Immigration Act (2002). He was shocking me . exceptionalism was affected through the isolation of foreigners in internationally managed camps and administrative incapacity and non-action. South African laws are now being challenged. In South Africa. ‘Violent Crime in Johannesburg’. 113. SAPS has exploited this law to legalise what would otherwise be illegal raids on buildings inhabited by suspected criminals and. After sealing a Hillbrow apartment block. the WitsTufts survey found that non-South Africans living or working in the inner city were stopped by the police far more frequently than South Africans (71% versus 47%) with each stop likely to require a bribe. although change will come slowly. So then. and deportations without reference to other constitutional or legal protections.
In mid-2004.e. the centre can house up to 7. There is also evidence that Lindela’s operators unduly extend inmates’ stay. Reports of sexual abuse..00. non-nationals arrested by South Africans for immigration offences—or otherwise designated as persona non grata—enter a privatised realm of law enforcement existing largely outside of government regulation and public scrutiny.60 Whereas non-nationals arrested in or around Tanzania’s refugee camps have been detained amongst citizens in a decaying and judicial infrastructure. 63 Human Rights Watch. the facility could hold between 1. During peak seasons. a privately run detention and deportation facility located on the outskirts of Johannesburg. the South African Communist Party.91155. up from 60 This statement was made during a poverty alleviation work Workshop Organised by the Joburg Development Agency (JDA): ‘Poverty and Exclusion in the Inner City’. .62 Those who serve out their term in Lindela—including some with legal status to remain in the country and the occasional South African—are loaded onto trains that make twice weekly trips from Johannesburg to the border with Zimbabwe or Mozambique. and bribery within Lindela are common while extortion is a normal part of journeys to and from the centre. detainees were kept in Lindela for 39 days on average.800 people awaiting repatriation.com/south_africa/general/0. and South African National Civil Organisation. Escape from this world requires an outside advocate or money to pay the requisite exit fees. the Director of Johannesburg’s ‘Region Eight’ (i. the inner city). See South African Press Association.200 and 1. (Johannesburg. in order to capitalise on the fees they collect from the government. Capacity has since been expanded to hold more than two times that amount. http://www.137 non-citizens were ‘removed’. many simply disappear or are remanded to Lindela Repatriation Centre.63 Others have poisoned themselves hoping to be transferred to a civilian hospital from where they could more easily escape. some detainees are required to pay to be deported. ‘Lindela Doesn’t Comply With Immigration Laws’ (2 November 2004. albeit less frequently. by airplane. even after friends or relatives have produced proper documentation.L. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 16 democratic election.B. Despite its expense and the fact that many of the deportations take place without mandatory hearings. 62 Under South African law. In a Kafkaesque twist.sabcnews. with many being held for months without an additional court order. a person can be legally detained within the facility for a maximum of 30 days without an additional court order. Prohibited Persons. Those claiming more distant origins are returned. That Yakoob Makda.61 Short of these. could proudly report on these anti-crime cum anti-immigrant achievements to a public meeting called to help combat poverty and social exclusion illustrates the degree to which such actions are legitimised under the state of exception.tml).2172. 59.000 people. deportations show no sign of abating: The Department of Home Affairs’ Annual Report for 2004 indicates that 167. 14 May 2003). violence. Alexandra Township north of the city centre organised a campaign entitled ‘Operation Buyelekhaya’ (Operation Go Back Home) in an effort to rid the township of all foreigners involving armed gangs claiming to be members of the ANC. 61 Non-nationals report that each of Johannesburg’s police stations has its own price and can draw out a rate schedule for what one must pay to be released from them. When first opened.
Of these. On October 23. the declaration of exception has opened space for both networks of corruption and coercion that exploit formal structures. Jonathan Crush.000 from Zimbabwe.D. this means turning to forms of law enforcement that exist largely outside of State regulation and. 65 64 . In neither case have exceptional measures effectively protected sovereignty by ensuring territorial integrity. Financial Times (13 April 2004). Inasmuch as these practices resist state efforts to reassert normalcy by reversing the declaration of exception. Quotation page 110. This builds on an incident a few months earlier in which foreigner traders were targeted and beaten and their goods stolen. fighting crime.65 Nor are these empty threats. Innocenti. these include specialised refugee camps. additional police. their lives.66 More recently. or promoting citizens’ rights and welfare. Xenophobia and Human Rights in South Africa’. a national study found that a significant minority of the citizenry were unprepared to leave the policing of migration solely to the authorities and a third of those surveyed said they would personally try and prevent migrants from moving into their neighbourhood. and even the environment—have justified exceptional responses from both Tanzania and South Africa. privatised system of detention and deportation. much of this vigilantism is targeted at non-nationals. and deportation authorised under the state of exception are widely popular.000 Zimbabweans were deported in all of 2001. health. but they have been largely unable to establish order or security. and a specialised. operating a business. becoming a fellow worker or having their children in the same classroom. ‘A Magnet for the Rest of the Continent’. As a point of comparison.B. occasionally. A5. but exist outside of legal regulation. Despite their political symbolism. foreign owned shops in Kgotsong Township were looted and burned while South African shops were left standing. Throughout the country.870 just two years before. Reflecting South Africa’s more sophisticated administrative and regulatory capacities. Rather.000 were from Mozambique and another 72. targeted non-official violence continues to rob non-nationals of their livelihoods and. International Migration 38 (2000): 103-131.L. these measures’ general ineffectiveness has lead citizens to simply accept criminal activity or seek alternative means to manage crime. As in Tanzania. only 17. an unconstitutional Immigration Act. Indeed. detention. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 17 135. often quite proudly.64 The extra-legal patterns of policing. exceptionalism threatens the sovereignty it was intended to protect. Because South Africans often assume foreigners are behind crime. and mandated or tacitly promoted vigilantism. ‘The Dark Side of Democracy: Migration. employ extra-legal forms of coercion to fulfil their mission. Historicity and Shifting Sovereignties Threats levied by non-national populations—to physical security. N. In Tanzania. approximately 500 street-traders marched through Johannesburg’s streets chanting slogans demanding a boycott on foreigners’ goods and the deportation of foreigners. 1997. vigilantism is accompanied by more formalised responses ranging from concentrated police efforts. over 81. employment.
The Accommodation of Cultural Diversity. Not only had most villagers already taken the ‘exit’ option from the cash economy and held few expectations for state services and legal protection. Although Lindela—a specialised. the general exercise of state power will more easily return to forms comparable to those elsewhere. ‘Marriage SA Style: No Ring.L.’68 These new economies of corruption and extortion are already spreading into state organs that will continue to serve citizens even in the unlikely event that non-nationals return (or are returned) home. 69 Florence Panoussian.67 but vigilantism and the ad hoc administrations of justice were already normal (if somewhat less common). 112 See Goran Hyden.za/zones/sundaytimesnew/newsst/newsst1091180762. further decreases the likelihood of overturning irregular administrative practices and criminality. In South Africa. given the country’s fragmented transportation and institutional infrastructure. bridges have been built between the soldiery and the worlds of crime and fraud.69 Police officers’ inability to distinguish between non-nationals and citizens—due either to 66 67 Palmary. the presence of non-nationals is bound by neither time nor space. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 18 The enduring consequences of these practices will differ in the two countries. The illegality and extra-legality developed to address the ‘alien problem’ consequently constitutes a far broader threat to the post-Apartheid state. Rather than extending the rule of law. 68 Achille Mbembe. Beyond Ujamaa in Tanzania: Underdevelopment and an Uncaptured Peasantry. On the Post Colony (Berkeley: University of California Press). semi-privatised. other forms of irregular policing and prison overcrowding are tied to the temporary presence of enormous refugee camps and the flow of humanitarian assistance. A recent scandal in which over a thousand South African woman found themselves unknowingly married to non-nationals who paid Department of Home Affairs’ officials for the residency rights these weddings confer is indicative of the nefarious spread of migration related corruption. 1980). (Berkeley: University of California Press. See also the . Although vigilantism and prison overcrowding are likely to continue. Lindela (together with broader patterns of irregular policing) are fostering a corrupt. That the organisations most-affected by their presence—the police and home affairs—are also largely responsible for restoring constitutionality. Violent Crime in Johannesburg. et al.co. ‘Helped by the prevailing lack of discipline. 58. and vigilante groups—that increasingly exists outside of formal regulation and oversight. Sunday Times Online (30 July 2004.aspx). these measures will disappear when the refugees depart. and largely ineffective ‘criminal justice’ systems—involving border guards. private facility run under government sanction—is at the centre of efforts to control non-nationals. http://www. Moreover.suntimes. Tripp and Young. private security firms. No Veil. Many of the economies of corruption will undoubtedly go with them. As much of the specialised security apparatus. police. bodies charged with ‘migration management’ retain close ties with permanent institutions also serving South Africans. but does not fundamentally break from pre-influx state practices. any changes that have taken place are likely to remain geographically isolated.B. The Tanzanian citizenry’s further disengagement from official regulatory mechanisms undermines constitutionalism. No Groom’.
In South Africa. During the apartheid era. for example. Darker skinned South Africans and those who can not speak the primary local language are particularly vulnerable. but admit that South Africans are regularly detained within the facility. Director. by attempting to regulate immigrants through exceptional measures. raids on buildings. The Department of Home Affairs now recognises the problems it faces in restoring normalcy.gov.71 The South African government sought to abolish these practices with the 1996 National Crime Prevention Strategy. new patterns of immigration have coincided with the state’s effort to monopolise and legalise the use of force. The changes exceptionalism has engendered will serve few people’s long-term interests. In Tanzania. and vigilantism all directly undermine citizens’ rights and livelihoods. To do so they are developing their own internal intelligence service and. but is struggling to find the means to fight corruption that is so well-entrenched.B. Police claim the numbers were inflated. quasi-political. but they do not represent a break from past practice or a fundamental challenge to current political ambitions: the declaration will not ultimately undermine the order it was intended to protect.dha. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 19 poor documentation or to an unwillingness to recognise documentation—also means everyone becomes a suspect. in some instances.za/status/marital_status. are building parallel administrative systems to escape the irregularities in existing facilities. many black South Africans are consequently arrested on immigration offences or targeted for harassment and extortion. Hillbrow Police Station. 18 July 2003). the South African state has inadvertently produced exactly what it hoped to abolish. vigilante groups—in various political. (the country has 11 official languages). Echoing measures to enforce the apartheid-era pass laws. Citation on page 110. Human Rights Watch found that that 20% of those held in Lindela were in fact South Africans. 1993). Policing South Africa: The SAP and the Transition from Apartheid (Cape Town: David Phillips. Where the continued existence of irregular. 72 Steffen Jensen. ‘The Battlefield and the Prize: ANC’s Bid to Reform the South African State’ in States of Imagination: Ethnographic Explorations of the Postcolonial State. the state had formally devolved or practically abrogated responsibility for most social service provision long before the declaration of exception.72 However. and criminal formations—blossomed while an overblown police force employed all means at their disposal to enforce the government’s repressive policies. 70 Interview with Danie Louw. 71 See G. That the exceptional practices originally created to protect citizens from foreigners are now creeping beyond the specialised apparatus designed to contain non-nationals further illustrates the declining boundaries between the zone of exception and society at large. evictions. eds. In 1998. (Johannesburg. extra-legal policing does not fundamentally challenge Tanzania’s political order. Steputtat (Durham: Duke University Press 2001): 97-122. T. Hansen and F. The emergence of privatised and corrupt systems of state sanctioned violence stand against one of post-Apartheid state’s primary (Weberian) objectives: the standardization of coercion within a rights-based system of laws and accountability.asp) where citizens can check to see if they have been married without their knowledge.70 Similarly.L. .B. such corruption and vigilantism threaten to undermine the form of sovereignty South Africa is Department of Home Affairs website (http://www. Cawthra.
As political leaders struggle to protect Westphalian sovereignty. Scholars. but also their ‘power to decide:’ to reverse the state of exception. the power to decide. If foreigners do not. arrests. Effectively overcoming these divides means moving beyond legalistic or Manichean perspectives on sovereignty. this article explores another possibility: that declaring exception may undermine the sovereignty it is designed to protect. the exceptional measures employed may be ill-conceived or otherwise ineffective at neutralising the identified threat. and political heart. affecting functions that are critical to state’s legitimacy and sovereignty.L. by suspending normal legal practice. spatialised practices that differ between and . states open space for economies of corruption and violence that can undermine the normal order. and Humanitarianism The findings outlined in the previous pages provide added nuance to the process through which exceptionalism is declared and the consequences of such declarations. our energies must also include bridging divisions between the analysis of domestic politics and migration management. The current pre-occupation with Agamben’s deliberations on the State of Exception is symptomatic of efforts by politicians and academics to address the challenges—real or perceived— transnational actors levy against the nation state as a normative and analytic ideal. and deportations—distracts officials from other concerns and offer citizens little or no protection. anti-foreigner policing—including unconstitutional searches. as per form. are struggling to make sense of these actions and establish the implications for state-society relations. This may happen in at least three ways. Second. these new practices and logics are developing their own dynamics and momentum which not only limit leaders’ ability to retain the power of law. With these zones of exception located close to South Africa’s economic. While Agamben (and others) warn that states of exception invite tyranny and despotism. First. as in the South African example discussed here. they are ever more regularly authorising their agents to operate outside the laws on which that sovereignty is ostensibly founded. Where the perceived threat cannot be geographically or institutionally quarantined. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 20 actively working to affect. represent a disproportionate threat to security. this dual loss of sovereignty will affect all residents. Moreover. these economies are likely to spread. as in South Africa. Migration. the economies developed within this anomalous space may function on incentive systems that legally designated authorities do not control. Sovereignty—along with state power more generally—must instead be understood as agglutinations of historically conditioned. While this alone represents a threat to sovereignty. Conclusions: Reconsidering State Power. robbing them of the power of law. As international migration and humanitarianism become more prominent concerns in domestic politics. Citizens and non-nationals alike now face threats to the legal protections the law ostensibly guarantees. Lastly.B. the loss of this power also deprives leaders the power to restore normalcy. cultural.
largely on long-standing symbolic relations with its citizens. they did not threaten the states popularly mandated role. The liberal foundations of the new South Africa are paralleled throughout the world’s liberal states. In South Africa. control irregular violence. While the influx challenged localised political practices. The legitimacy of the Tanzanian state rests. and social exclusion have created significantly different bases of legitimacy and sovereignty. So too are its exceptional responses to asylum seekers and immigrants.B. Here. Landau Immigration and the State of Exception 21 within states. political factionalism. even security.L. Its inability to do so—or to reverse the state of exception—consequently represents a far more serious threat to the self-defined conditions for achieving and maintaining sovereignty. We must now wait to see if these states’ actions will have similar effects on their sovereignty. not on its ability to provide them with social services or. and maintain a monopoly on the legitimate use of force in ways mandated by law. . efforts to overcome apartheid-era vigilantism. the normal order depends on the state’s ability to protect citizens’ legally defined rights.
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