“Frightened residents in the Johannesburg suburb told News24 that zama zamas, often armed with semi-automatic rifles, brazenly shoot as soon as the sun sets over the once peaceful area.
When the clock strikes 17:00 daily, Riverlea residents are forced to lock their doors and hope and pray that their houses don’t become targets of rival zama zama gang fights over gold turf.
On Saturday night, scenes of a warzone played out in the area when five people were killed during a territorial clash among different gangs of zama zamas.
Zama zama gang violence has been an issue in the suburb for several years, with little to no intervention from the SA Police Service.
During a visit to the area on Monday afternoon, Police Minister Bheki Cele, accompanied by police’s top brass, talked tough and assured residents that he was willing to put his head on the line to restore calm.”
Pijoos, I. (2023, August 1). Warring zama zamas are terrorising Riverlea. Residents say police just don’t have the firepower.

You have been approached to provide input to the Ministers of the Security Cluster on the victimisation of community members by zama zamas in Riverlea, Johannesburg. Submit a report of no more than five (5) typed pages, in which you make use of the routine activities approach (Cohen and Felson, 1979) to explain the victimisation of the Riverlea community.

Answers to Above Questions on Criminology

Answer 1: The main focus area of this report is to provide a complete analysis of the victimization of the riverlea community by zama zama gangs in Johannesburg. The approach that will be followed in performing the comprehensive analysis is routine activities approach as provided by Cohen and Felson (1979). An analysis of the riverlea committee indicates that this particular community has experience and all this is because of the activities performed by zama zama gangs. As a result of this, there has been the development of an atmosphere of fear and insecurity within the residents residing in the area. According to the routine activities approach, there are three important elements that becomes responsible for any incidence of victimization and these are categorized as a motivated offender, a suitable target, and there is a lack of guardianship.


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