In 1997 South Africa had the highest murder rate in the world.1 For the period 1998 - 2000, it slipped to number two, losing the top spot to Colombia, but retained the number one position (per capita) in murders with firearms, rapes, and assaults.2 While there is some controversy regarding the accuracy of the data, there is little doubt that South Africa has been and remains among the most violent countries in the world.3 Where did all this crime and come from? There is a common belief among some South Africans that the country experienced a huge crime wave starting in 1994, when the new ANC-led government came to power.4 This belief is false. The recent dramatic upsurge in violent crime began in 1990, not 1994, but crime has been high in many parts of the country since as far back as the 1950's.5 In this paper I will argue that the present South African crime wave has its roots in the policies of the apartheid-era government, was exacerbated during the political transition in the early 1990's, and continues to be sustained by some factors which are legacies of the old government, and some factors which are new to the post-apartheid era.
[...] p Shaw, p Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems Shaw, p Louw, p140- Shaw, p Louw, p140- Shaw, p Shaw, p South African Institute of Race Relations. A Survey of Race Relations - 57. Johannesburg: SAIRR, p228-229, cited in Shaw, p Shaw, p Louw, p Luiz, John. "Temporal Association, The Dynamics of Crime, and Their Economic Determinants." Social Indicators Research. vol 53 no 1 (January 2001). p33-61; p34- Thompson, Leonard. A History of South Africa. [...]
[...] "SA Minister Defends Crime Remark." June accessed online on June at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/- /2/hi/africa/5102578.stm 54. Shaw, p Shaw, p du Plessis and Louw, p8. Bibliography BBC News. "SA Minister Defends Crime Remark." June accessed online on June at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/- /2/hi/africa/5102578.stm Brewer, John. "Crime and Control." in John Brewer Restructuring South Africa. London: Macmillan cited in Shaw, Mark. Crime and Policing in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Transforming Under Fire. Bloomington: Indiana University Press Brown, Kay. "The Determinants of Crime in South Africa." The South African Journal of Economics. vol 69 no 2 (June 2001) p269-298. [...]
[...] Some writers argue that the recent dramatic increases in crime are really just a product of higher levels of reporting, brought about by increased trust between the police and the majority of the citizens under the ANC.8 It is also important that before 1994 the South African government did not collect crime data from the bantustans (homelands) at all, because they were not considered to be part of the country, thereby excluding a large part of the population from the figures.9 It is difficult to gauge exactly how much past underreporting may contribute to the apparent recent increases in South African crime, but the effect is probably significant. [...]
[...] "Breaking the Web: Gangs and Family Structure in Cape Town." in Dennis Dava and Manna Slabert Crime and Power in South Africa: Critical Studies in Criminology. Cape Town: David Philip (1985) p30. cited in Shaw, Mark. Crime and Policing in Post- Apartheid South Africa: Transforming Under Fire. Bloomington: Indiana University Press p4. Segal, Lauren and Pelo, Joy and Rampa, Pule. "Asicamtheni Magents - Let's Talk, Magents: Youth Attitudes Toward Crime." Crime and Conflict no 15 (Autumn 1999). p24. cited in Shaw, Mark. [...]
[...] These individuals often arrived with no skills by which to support themselves in the urban South African economy, but many had military experience and moved easily into crime.43 Sustaining Factors Under the New Government Under the new ANC-led government, violent crime remained high, and for some crimes (such as rape, robbery, and assault) even continued to increase.44 Much of this was because of the legacy of apartheid and of the chaotic transition period. But, there are some factors which only became important after 1994, especially economic frustration, the rise of organized crime, and the initial low priority put on crime by the new government. [...]
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