Clashes between student protesters and armed security (whether public or private) compel South Africans to consider the role of use of force in the context of protests.
Protest movements become radicalised by two factors: escalating policing and competitive escalation between political adversaries and other protesting groups.
In response to high levels of crime, South Africans have turned their homes into fortresses, seeking security behind high walls. But doing so might be counter-productive.
The legal status of private security staff is, for the most part, decidedly uncertain.