About the Journal

Aims and Scope

The Southern African Journal of Security (SAJS) is a publication to fill the need for new research information. It provides an outlet for innovative approaches and methodologies in security studies. The journal publishes peer-reviewed articles and papers that report on and analyse the latest research and innovation in this broad field. The area of Security Studies in this respect entails private and public security and aspects related to criminal justice. Research in these areas will not be limited to the South African experience; rather it will be extended to the rest of the African continent and the global arena. The range of problems in the security field is too diverse to be viewed solely through the prism of a singular lens. Therefore, the Southern African Journal of Security will adopt a multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary (MIT) approach or focus to circumvent this challenge or limitation. Over time, the field of security has morphed in many aspects. The term ‘security’ has expanded to include aspects such as crime prevention and investigation, forensic science, secure transfer of suspects and inmates, security technology, risk management or loss prevention, fire, fraud, invasion of privacy, intelligence gathering, theft, unlawful entry, cybersecurity and a host of other legal issues. Significantly, this study area contributes to maintaining peace, order, and development, as there can never be development without peace and stability. In this respect, the Security and Intelligence area will be embraced so that research on vexing questions of insurgence, cross-border crimes, terrorism, unrests and religious/political extremism is encouraged. A point is therefore emphatically made that the transdisciplinary nature of the field of security studies is commensurate with the conservative notion that would require it to fit into the traditional structure of academic departments of most universities.  

In summary, the journal seeks to address broader societal issues of importance to law, safety, and security of citizens, and criminal justice-related topics. The journal pursues articles defining and reflecting the various security aspects and encourages researchers to generate innovative scientific contributions to the knowledge economy. The Southern African Journal of Security publishes reviews and commentaries on essential books or current issues and covers informative aspects like editorials, topical reviews, book reviews, and scholarly correspondence.

The Southern African Journal of Security is premised on the following niche areas stipulated by the Department of Higher Education and Training. These include:

  • Knowledge generation and human capital development in response to the needs of South Africa and the African continent. (New knowledge contextualized in SA and Africa: Human capital development contextualized to SA and Africa).
  • The promotion of democracy, human rights, and responsible citizenship. (Promotion of democracy: Human rights; Responsible citizenship.)

Peer Review Process

The suitability and basic quality of articles are initially reviewed by the editorial team. Manuscripts may be rejected at this stage or returned to authors for resubmission before the review process. SAJS follows a blind review process utilising at least two reviewers for each manuscript. We select reviewers who are familiar with the theoretical aspects of the article. Reviewers are encouraged to provide detailed critical and constructive comments. We strive towards a review period of 6 weeks.

Publication Frequency

Southern African Journal of Security uses a continuous publishing model, according to which articles are published in final form individually as they become ready. The journal publishes one volume per year and is published online only.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Authors keep the copyright of their manuscripts under a Creative Commons licence: CC BY SA


Southern African Journal of Security charges NO FEES.


Manuscripts containing plagiarism will not be considered for publication in the journal. Plagiarism is defined as the use of another person's work, words or ideas without attribution or permission, and representation of them as one's own original work. Plagiarism may take many forms, ranging from major plagiarism (the copy-and-paste of large amounts of text), to minor plagiarism without dishonest intent (e.g. when an author uses parts of an introduction from an earlier paper) and even self-plagiarism (the re-use of significant, identical or near-identical portions of one's own work without citing the original version).

SAJS subscribes to plagiarism detection software, and all contributions submitted to the journal will be scanned to verify originality. Ithenticate (http://www.ithenticate.com/) is currently used.

Licensing and Publishing

In consideration for the publication of your article by Unisa Press, you agree to grant Unisa Press an irrevocable nonexclusive license to publish in print and electronic format and further sublicense the article for the full legal term of copyright and any renewals thereof in all languages throughout the world in all formats, and through any medium of communication.

You shall retain the perpetual royalty-free right to reproduce and publish in print and electronic format, and further sublicense the article in all languages throughout the world in all formats, and through any medium of communication provided that you make reference to the first publication by the Journal and Unisa Press.

Editorial Policy

This journal subscribes to the ASSAf National Code of Best Practice in Editorial Discretion and Review for South African Scholarly Journals.

All users of the journal (including members of the Editorial Board) will have the right to submit articles for possible publication to the journal. Only the Editor-in-Chief will be excluded from this ruling.

Errata: Factual or conceptual errors in published articles that change the intended meaning of the text will be corrected after verification by the Editor-in-chief. This will be done by publishing an Erratum that states the correction made. The erratum will be linked to the original publication.


SAJS, the Unisa College of Law and Unisa Press make every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information contained in our publication. However, SAJS, our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the contributions. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not the views of or endorsed by SAJS, the Unisa College of Law or Unisa Press. SAJS, Unisa College of Law and Unisa Press shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to, or arising out of the use of the content of the publication.

Ethics Statement (Unisa Press Journals)

As part of fulfilling the University of South Africa's vision of being "the African university shaping futures in the service of humanity" the vision of Unisa Press Journals is to "publish with integrity" and, as such, Unisa Press Journals would like all parties involved in the publication process to adhere to the expected ethical behaviour set out in this ethics statement.

1.    Responsibilities of the Publisher and the Institutions and/or Societies on Behalf of Which It Publishes

Unisa Press Journals and the institutions and/or societies on behalf of which it publishes shall ensure that:

1.1.  Good practice is maintained to the standards set out in this statement.

1.2.  Collaborations with other publishers and industry associations adhere to standards for best practices on ethical matters, errors and retractions.

1.3.  The publisher's address and contact details are published in all journals and on these journals' websites.

1.4.  Guidelines on how the review process works are published on all journals' websites.

1.5.  Journals publish guidance on what is expected from reviewers.

1.6.  Journals publish guidance on what is expected from authors.

1.7.  Journals have properly functioning editorial boards and international advisory boards.

2.    Responsibilities of Editorial Boards

A properly functioning editorial board of a journal is of vital importance to ensure that the journals are governed efficiently. The board is responsible to ensure that the requirements for journals to be accredited by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) are adhered to.

Editorial boards need to:

2.1.  Meet regularly and be actively involved in the editorial management of the journal.

2.2.  Have terms of reference.

2.3.  Keep minutes of their meetings.

2.4.  Be comprised of members from beyond a single institution, and with more than two-thirds of the editorial board members beyond a single institution.

2.5.  Be reflective of expertise in the relevant subject area.

2.6.  Ensure that the names, titles and affiliation of board members are published in the journal and on the journals' website.

2.7.  Ensure that all board members serve for a clearly defined term, after which they may be re-elected in order to remain on the board.

2.8.  Ensure that their journal has a mechanism for authors to appeal against editorial decisions. This should be managed by the editorial board and not the editor.

2.9.  Appoint the academic editor of the journal

3.    International Advisory Boards

This journal, just like any other, does boast a vibrant team of international advisory board, which advises the editorial board and the editor on the academic standard of the journal. This is a critical part of our editorial component as it helps the journal to foster excellence in scholarship. 

4.    Responsibilities of Academic Editors

Academic Editors should:

4.1.  Execute their duties in an objective and fair way without discriminating on the basis of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious or political affiliation or sexual orientation of authors or reviewers.

4.2.  Ensure that articles include English abstracts if their language of publication is not English.

4.3.  Ensure that their journal uses the double blind peer review method, where the identities of authors and reviewers are not known to each other.

4.4.  Pursue suspected cases of misconduct and not just simply reject articles that raise suspicion.

4.5.  Give authors an opportunity to respond to any complaints and, if they are not satisfied, ask the authors' employers to investigate. Editors should persist until they obtain a resolution to the problem in question.

4.6.  Follow reasonable procedures when complaints of conflict of interest or of an ethical nature arise, and follow the procedures of the society or institution which owns the journal, where appropriate, to resolve the complaint. Journals owned by Unisa need to follow the guidelines set out in the relevant Unisa policies.

4.7.  Keep all documentation relating to the investigation of a complaint.

4.8.  Correct any inaccuracy or misleading statement that has been published in order to maintain the integrity of the academic record. They have to publish errata, corrigenda or even retract articles if need be.

4.9.  Make sure their journals comply with all the requirements of the Department: Higher Education and Training's Research Outputs Policy (2015)

5.    Responsibilities of Peer Reviewers

 Reviewers should:

5.1.  Maintain the confidentiality of all information supplied by the editor.

5.2.  Review each manuscript objectively, in a timely manner, contribute to the decision-making process regarding publication of articles, and assist in improving the quality of the manuscript.

5.3.  Alert the editor to any suspected plagiarism or substantially similar content.

5.4.  Keep the integrity of the double blind peer review intact by ensuring they stay anonymous in their review reports.

5.5.  Be aware of any potential conflict of interest, and decline the review on those grounds.

6.    Authors' responsibilities

 Authors should:

6.1.  Declare any real or potential conflict of interest regarding the research and the publication process.

6.2.  Confirm that each submission has not been previously published and that it is not under consideration by another journal.

6.3.  Confirm that the work in submission is original, and acknowledge and cite content from other sources.

6.4.  Confirm that they have obtained permission to reproduce any content that is not theirs.

6.5.  Notify the journal editor or publisher immediately if a significant error in their publication comes to light, and should cooperate with the editor and publisher if it is necessary to retract the article or to publish an erratum, addendum or corrigendum notice.

6.6.  Maintain accurate records of data associated with their submission, and should grant access to these data if reasonably requested. Where allowed and where appropriate, authors should deposit this data in a suitable repository or storage for sharing and further use.

6.7.  Ensure that any studies involving human or animal subjects conform to local, national and international laws and requirements. Authors should obtain express permission from human subjects and respect their privacy.

6.8.  Be aware that online originality checking will be conducted to protect the integrity of the journal.

7.    Misconduct

Misconduct and unethical behaviour may be identified and brought to the attention of the editor and publisher at any time, by anyone. Sufficient evidence should be provided in writing by any complainant when informing the editor or publisher for an investigation to be initiated. All allegations should be taken seriously and must be treated appropriately. Those who report such behaviour in good faith must be protected in accordance with relevant Unisa policies and procedures. When misconduct or unethical behaviour is confirmed appropriate actions should be taken timeously, including correcting the research record (Singapore Statement, 2010).


The journal publishes in English.

Open access

Southern African Journal of Security is an Open Access journal, which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of Open Access.

Articles from this journal can be made available on personal websites and institutional repositories, subject to the following conditions:

1)            Always upload the final version as published at https://upjournals.co.za/index.php/SAJS/index

2)            Acknowledge the publisher.

Cite the article as part of the metadata and include the DOI as part of the citation to the article.

Journal History

The Journal was established in 2021.