An examination of homicide statistics in South Africa (1948-2003) using a Durkheim analysis of anomie.
Thomson, James Douglas Scott.
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This work provides a statistical analysis and interpretation of homicide rates and patterns in South Africa for the years 1948 to 2003. Complied from data accessed from the South African Police Services, Mortuary Reports, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Non Government Organisations the patterns of homicide according to race, gender and age are analysed. This thesis proposes that the anomic condition of South African society is a key contributor to the creation and maintenance of the high levels of homicide found in this society. The normalisation of inter-personal violence through the collective conscious of communities and individuals has resulted in the growth of homicide and its continued high levels ten years after the end of Apartheid. This hypothesis is further supported through a survey conducted upon teenage subjects in Kwa-Zulu Natal province of their attitudes towards the use of violence. This work demonstrated strong positive support for interpersonal violence by members of the police and state. The survey also showed significant racial and gender differences in attitudes. The anomic conditions that continue to be present in South Africa will contribute to the weakness of the criminal justice system, and the willingness of individuals and communities to use their own resources to combat crime rather than rely upon the state and its agents for protection. The result being a continued high level of violence and a weak criminal justice system.
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