Criminological theological efforts in combating crime by Roman Catholic Church of uMndeni Oyingcwele, KwaZulu-Natal province.
Ndlovu, Nondumiso Ayanda.
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The primary aim of this study was to explore and gain different perceptions of individuals regarding the role of the church in combating crime within the community of Hammarsdale, Mpumalanga Township. Taking into consideration the Roman Catholic Church as a societal structure that aims to instil morals and values in the upbringing of an individual. The task of the church and its clergy is to continuously restore a sense of civility and responsibility to everyday life and promote crime prevention and genuine rehabilitation. On the contrary, within the community of Hammasdale, crime is reported to be escalating. Crime such as murder, common assault, car hijacking and house robbery were said to be the most popular among this community. Therefore, this study aimed at closing this literature gap by exploring the role of the Roman Catholic Church of Umndeni Oyingcwele Parish in combating crime. This study employed a qualitative approach to ensuring that the goals of the study were achieved. The qualitative approach was used in this study to assist in the exploration of the nature of crime present within this community, challenges faced with regards to crime, perceptions of community members with regards to the presence of crime. This approach combined a set of questions that enabled the interviewer to explore further particular themes and responses. In analysing the data collected, thematic analysis method was utilised. The effectiveness of thematic analysis was derived from the familiarization of data by the researcher. This was possible because the researcher conducted tape-recorded interviews and transcribed them, and it allowed the researcher to familiarize with the data for an in-depth and perceptive analysis. This research considered the common threads that provided an opportunity to ascertain patterns that showed common causes among the research participants. Findings highlighted that the church is indeed a societal structure that does aim to instil morals and values but a structure that has little control of social factors that contribute to crime. It was discovered that the church is not very much active in implementing measures that involve the community to combat crime but is aware of this phenomenon.