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17 November 2022

14h00 – 15h30


Maputaland’s Ecosystem of Crime: The weight of history

Presenter  : Clive Poultney

Discussant : Constance Galeo Mogale


The paper looks at the manner in which the heritage and history of the Maputaland has created the conditions for the penetration of the criminal economy. Its rich ecosystem and ‘remoteness’ but ideal interstitial geo-political location, are amongst primary factors that enable the ascendancy of criminality. Central to the growing economy of illicit goods and services, is the dual system of governance. Ill-defined functions within traditional governance, makes traditional structures and practices vulnerable. However ample opportunities are created for commercial, political and criminal predators to integrate their goals in greed and power with malleable, corrupt traditional leaders doing the same. Community life and resilience to these developments is profoundly difficult when the traditional authority aligns itself with criminal structures increasingly embedded in those communities. The research tracks how transfrontier organised crime is infiltrating and integrating with aberrant local systems of land and resource use.