SABC 1: Skeemsaam 28/11/2018

Date: November 28, 2018
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Name of article: Malebana loses his cool
Name of publication: SABC 1: Skeem Saam
Date: 28 November 2018
Country: South Africa
Theme: Crime violence
Skills: Visual
Genre: Entertaining
GEM classification: Blatant stereotype

Description: A gang member frustrates captain Malebana as he withholds evidence that could stop gang related crimes around Turfloop. The captain is portrayed as aggressive and short tempered as the gang member withholds evidence.


This article highlighted the following:
● Reinforces blatant stereotypes about police officers and police brutality
● Depicts typical traditional roles for police officers as being short tempered.
● Reinforces blatant stereotypes about police work being a man’s job.

Captain Malebana is frustrated that there is a gang in his area and his team is unable to arrest all the members. He has only arrested one member who is not assisting. He is portrayed as short tempered, overly aggressive and intimidating. He also seems to let his bruised ego affect his work ethics and acts in an unprofessional way towards the suspect.

The storyline enforces a misconception that police officers are aggressive and easily resort to force without any regard for the law. This story line is misleading, not all police officers use this strategy and it is illegal to exert unnecessary force on a suspect. On the same note, the previous and subsequent episodes only show male police officers and not one female officer on this case. This reinforces the idea that the police force is male-dominated and does not represent an accurate gendered workforce in South Africa despite the fact that more female police officers are entering the police force than ever before.

Male actors in the police, military and other law enforcement roles are portrayed as smart and hardworking. Female police officers are rarely shown in television and when they are they are often portrayed as emotional or in need of rescuing by their male counterparts.

Angles and perspective.
The story follows a bad cop strategy that might scare suspects into cooperating. In the context of this scene the strategy is misplaced and communicates a misleading message about the police. The way in which the show portrays police brutality and male violence seems as if it is condoning it.

The scene glorifies Captain Malebana using violence to get information out of the suspect, which normalizes and condones police brutality. The lack of female policewomen represented on screen also points towards blatant stereotyping of what is seen to be male-dominated workforce.

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