About the project

Every day thousands of South Africans confront the justice system through the police, the courts and the prisons. For their in-depth investigative project, Wits Journalism students took a close look at this system and how it is serving the people caught up in it.


This group followed the money. Zandi Shabalala investigated the way funding affects the efficiency of South Africa’s courts.

Akin Oyedele looked into the inequalities of  legal access, while Tanyaradzwa Nyamajiyah examined the private security industry.

Simmi Areff discovered a thriving prison economy, in which inmates trade toiletries for football players and sex for drugs and cigarettes. Kirsti Buick looked at the practice of traffic officer bribery.


The gender justice group looked at the way justice is applied across the gender divide.  Lisa Golden investigated the notorious “J88” form, necessary for a rape conviction, while Lebogang Mdlankomo looked at how the system fails the survivors of “corrective rape”.

Jan Bornman scrutinised traditional justice and how it deals with crimes involving women.

Luyanda Majija uncovered the dangers and rewards faced every day by our female independent prison visitors.


Group Social Justice investigated the  ills that plague our justice system and cause it to fail offenders.

Charlotte Chipangura discovered a son who graduated from glue-sniffing to stealing – under the care of social workers. Anina Mumm uncovered the difficulties of our forensic labs in processing evidence.

Zinhle Shabalala looked into education in prisons, Hazel Meda examined the difficulty of prisoners in maintaining contact with their families, while Jay Caboz discovered the challenges of re-integrating into society.