South African Crime

Crime in South Africa is a major problem no better illustrated by the fact that according to South Africa's Medical Research Council over one in four South African males have admitted to carrying out a rape with over half of those admitting to multiple attacks. Disturbingly, 75% state that they first offended whilst they were a teenager. Equally disturbing is that a child is raped in South Africa every three minutes, around 200,000 children every year. This high incidence level is often attributed to the fact that many South African boys see females as 'fair game' with the crime being seen as a form of male bonding when carried out in groups.

The report referred to above indicated that 62% of boys don't equate rape with violence whilst a third believe girls enjoy it.Its bizarre to report that a girl in South Africa has one in three chance of finishing school, but a one in two chance of being raped. And the authorities don't want to know, preferring the crime to go unreported, but when it is, the victim often finds herself ostracised. Of course, its not just girls, but one in ten males also reports sexual assault by other males. But its not just sexual crime that casts a shadow over South Africa. Murders (nineteen police officers were murdered in one province alone in 28 weeks), woundings, armed robberies, muggings, car jackings and other thefts are also endemic.

Many of these crimes occur in urban areas around hotels and shopping centres but also on trains and other forms of public transport. Private passengers are equally at risk with their cars being smashed and grabbed or the driver being followed home and robbed as they leave their car on their way into their home. South African crime also includes regular bombings of ATM machines. To put it in perspective, though, over 90% of tourists who attended the World Cup in 2010 reported a crime free experience with only 4% reporting they would not return to the country, preferring to explore new destinations and most crimes are carried out within specified locations. Foreign embassies merely ask that visitors to South Africa pay particular care around ATMs and don't venture at night outside acknowledged commercial centres of activity. The following table shows the South African crime rate over the past three years with the latest figures available up to March 2010.


South African Crime

South African Crime

South African Crime

South African Crime



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South African Crime
South African Crime
Crime category April 07 - March 08 April 09 -March 09 April 09 - March 10
Murder 18,487 18,148 16,834
Sexual Crimes 63,818 70,514 68,332
Att. Murder 18,795 18,298 17,410
AOABH 210,104 203,777 205,293
Common Assault 198,049 192,838 197,284
Common Robbery 64,985 59,232 57,537
Agg. Robbery 118,312 121,392 113,755
Arson 7,396 6,846 6,701
Criminal Damage 136,968 134,261 132,134
Non Dom Burglary 62,995 70,009 71,773
TWOC 80,226 75,968 71,776
Theft from M/V 111,661 109,548 120,862
Illegal Firearms 13,476 14,045 14,542
Drug Related Crime 109,134 117,172 134,840
Commercial Crime 65,286 77,474 84,842
Shoplifting 66,992 80,773 88,634
Carjacking 14,201 14,915 13,902
Truck Jacking 1,245 1,437 1,412
Dom. Robbery 14,481 18,438 18,786
Non Dom. Robbery 9,862 13,920 14,534
Culpable Homicide 13,184 12,571 12,272
Public Violence 895 1,500 1,323
Child Neglect 4,106 4.034 4,014
Kidnapping 2,323 2,535 2,889

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