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On race and crime in SA

Gavin Silber - Nathan Geffen
11 January 2010

Silber & Geffen argue that black SAns are indeed disproportionately targeted

Race, class & violent crime in South Africa: Dispelling the ‘Huntley thesis'

Summary

Brandon Huntley was granted asylum in Canada earlier this year based on the argument that whites are disproportionately affected by crime in South Africa. The decision was generally condemned, but it did receive support from various groups and individuals including Afriforum, the Freedom Front and James Myburgh (editor of Politicsweb). In this article we show the flaws in Huntley's argument by presenting evidence from several sources that demonstrate that black and poor people are disproportionately the victims of violent crime in South Africa. We are concerned that painting whites as the primary victims of South Africa's social ills is unproductive, ungenerous and potentially hampers the appropriate distribution of resources to alleviate crime. Furthermore, in order to move the debate on crime in South Africa into a more productive direction, we also describe the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) - a relatively new community based organisation that aims to mobilise communities around improving safety and security for all in South Africa, regardless of race or income. Campaigning for novel pragmatic and coordinated community and government responses to the broader lack of safety and security in the country, the SJC focuses on the introduction and development of basic infrastructure and services as a means of reducing crime. 

Introduction

Everyone in South Africa is affected by crime, and the consequent sense of insecurity that comes with living in fear. Some encounter it directly, others through the experiences of friends and family, and just about all of us through news media, which routinely reminds us of the abundant violence that has come to characterise our society. Yet despite this collective concern, far too little has been done both to mobilise people across class, gender, national and racial barriers to advocate for improved crime reduction strategies; and to call on all people in South Africa to contribute personally towards creating safer communities.

The recent ase of South African Brandon Huntley, who earlier this year received refugee status in Canada, has exposed the divided perceptions of crime across race and class. Huntley's lawyers reportedly convinced an immigration review board that ‘the ANC government was failing to protect the white minority from criminal violence perpetrated by black South Africans'.[1] Consequently, 142 academics signed an open letter to the Charge d'Affaires of Canada in South Africa denouncing the decision, stating,

The outrageously distorted representation of contemporary South Africa does not square with the realities in our country, by any factual measure. While the crime rates in South Africa are high as a consequence of numerous interrelated factors - many of which are the working through of the past brutalization of our society by the system of white supremacy, and none of which relate to inherent criminal tendencies in black people - it is simply untrue that white people are being targeted disproportionately. Black South Africans are much more likely to be victims of crime, largely because they are less able to afford the protections and security measures which most white South Africans, as still privileged citizens, are able to acquire.

But Huntley's argument was sympathetically received by many in the white community. The Freedom Front Plus stated, ‘For the ANC to label the decision of Canada to grant the South African, Brandon Huntley, asylum status, as racist, is in itself racist.'[2] Afriforum is considering intervening as an amicus (friend of the court) in support of Huntley if his case is appealed.[3] James Myburgh, the editor of Politicsweb (a popular political news and opinion website) has disputed the facts of the academics' open letter (see article). He uses the findings of victimisation surveys to argue that contrary to the claim made in the open letter, it is in fact whites - and lately Indians - who are disproportionately affected by crime. Myburgh's argument is the most articulate presentation of what we call the Huntley Thesis: the argument that whites are disproportionately affected by crime (perpetrated by blacks).

In what follows, we present evidence suggesting that Myburgh and the advocates of the Huntley thesis are most likely wrong. We cannot definitively disprove it, because data on crime are incomplete and insufficiently categorised by race. Nevertheless, the available evidence, as far as we can determine, shows that although all races and classes in South Africa are unduly affected by crime, black and poor people are disproportionately affected.[4] Myburgh questions why ‘over a hundred of our top academics appended their signature to a document without (apparently) interrogating its factual accuracy?' We show that it was reasonable for the academics' letter to state that ‘black and poor people are much more likely to be victims of crime,' particularly if one infers, reasonably, that they were referring to serious and violent crime.

It would be fair to assert that the vast majority of society acknowledges that crime affects all races and classes, but it is also our duty to acknowledge that it affects some more than others. We can think of two reasons for making this point. Firstly, it has a bearing on where resources for alleviating crime should be concentrated.  Currently financial resources for the crime response (much of it private - approximately R46 billion per year[5]) are primarily spent on affluent areas.  Secondly, the view that whites are being disproportionately victimised needs to be debunked. Whites are not the primary victims of South Africa's social ills, and propagating the view that they are encourages ungenerous politics that refuses to acknowledge the responsibility whites have to address past wrongs. This is epitomised by Huntley's case.

Working together to create safer communities

The use of populist rhetoric and unsubstantiated claims when addressing the issue of crime - or any other social issue, for that matter - is dangerous and irresponsible. It fosters a deep fear and mistrust along class and racial lines and ignores the legacy left by apartheid. It hampers integration, promotes racism (amongst black and white), and supports inequality - all of which often morph into the fear and contempt that ultimately leads to the failure of individuals and the state to discuss and address the root causes of critical social issues. 

A new approach in garnering productive community and state responses to crime is currently being piloted by the Western Cape based Social Justice Coalition (SJC), a grassroots organisation formed in 2008 as a response to the xenophobic violence and subsequent displacement and mistreatment of thousands of immigrants. Its membership has grown steadily, and includes people from an array of economic and racial backgrounds, stretching from Green Point - the well known, gentrified and affluent 2010 World Cup host suburb - to Khayelitsha, a lesser known and underdeveloped poor working class area. The 20 kilometres separating these two areas are relatively inconsequential for they are truly worlds apart, yet the respective residents regularly sit down together to discuss their concerns, most of which are shared.

One year on, the SJC focuses on working towards safety and security for all - citizen and immigrant, white and black, rich and poor. The SJC's campaign work is fundamentally based on the understanding that ensuring safety and security requires active citizens and communities, an understanding of the law and its application, and a more pragmatic state approach than the oft-held disproportionate focus on criminal justice. Improving the quality of the justice system and police service is understood to be important, but street lights, access to proper ablution facilities, after school child care, and pedestrian friendly streets can significantly improve the lives of many, and lead to a lower incidence of exposure to crime. Community members engage with each other, local policy makers and members of the legal/policing fraternity on a regular basis through lectures, workshops, awareness drives and campaign work.

The bulk of the SJC's membership resides in Khayelitsha, where just 38 per cent of inhabitants live in what are loosely defined as ‘formal structures'[6], 20 per cent live with immediate access to water,[7] 65,1 per cent with access to flush/chemical toilets, and a significant number without electricity.[8]  Unemployment is currently estimated at over 50 per cent.[9] Very few homes are serviced by functioning streets or lighting; and the landscape constantly changes due to flooding, fires and migrant labourers looking for work in the city, rendering it difficult to protect residents and police the area. 

The SJC's provincial office in Khayelitsha attempts to actively assist victims of crime and poverty on a daily basis. Women are frequently beaten and raped walking to the toilet or fetching water from taps not more than 50 metres from their homes, children are routinely injured or killed by cars and taxis that hurtle through their backyards, alcohol abuse is rife, illness and death from waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea are common, houses are frequently lost to fire and flooding, and contact crime is ever present. These burdens pervade every crevice of a township that is overwhelmingly black and poor[10], but are often accepted as being part of everyday life. Little faith or trust is instilled in the police or the courts and residents see the situation as being impervious to any response instigated by government or the community,

The inadequate provision of these and other basic amenities, along with failures in the criminal justice system, serves to exacerbate the broader deficit in safety and security, and results in several constitutional rights being routinely violated (this is true everywhere but particularly in poor areas). For instance: Section 12 of the Bill of Rights, which refers to freedom and security of the person, calls for all ‘to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources'.[11] The sense of insecurity and heightened risk levels in Khayelitsha contribute to the broader generation of victims and perpetrators of violent crime. 

Our arguments against Myburgh's articulation of what we have called the Huntley thesis follow below.

Gauging the distribution of crime

Myburgh relies on national victimisation surveys (NVSs) produced by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)[12], Institute for Security Studies (ISS)[13] [14], and Markinor[15] as the fundamental basis of his argument.

Michael O'Donovan, author of a paper on the ISS's most recent NVS (cited by Myburgh), notes how ‘opinion surveys cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, provide an objective measure of changes in crime rates',[16] and that they are important insofar as they reflect ‘respondents' beliefs'. It is imprudent for researchers or policy makers to rely solely on these methods and results to estimate the extent and nature of crime. Numerous contradictions between opinions and reality routinely arise that warn against using such data irresponsibly. As O'Donovan points out, these ‘[contradictions] point to the limits of generalising victimisation surveys to the population as a whole.'[17]

Taking simplified snapshots from victimisation surveys will ultimately fail to provide an adequate yardstick or gauge of the distribution of crime. By extension, using opinions to extrapolate the extent of actual crime (by using ‘crime' as a uniform variable) will always fail to distinguish between serious violent crime and less invasive property-related crime.  Practitioners of these surveys assert that differentiation does take place, but the inclusion of sample questions that ask whether someone has been a ‘victim of crime' - as included in the 2007 ISS and Markinor surveys - can be very misleading when used in isolation. Myburgh's analysis thus fails to differentiate between crime categories (and the severity thereof); assumes that respondents are homogenous and equally responsive to questioning; and uses such findings as evidence to argue that particular groups are being disproportionately affected. There is sufficient additional evidence to doubt the ability of NVSs to support this conclusion. 

Firstly, the very concept of crime or criminality can be relatively subjective, as indeed is the case with ‘victimhood'.  Some respondents to NVSs classify the threat of violence as a criminal act, while others might only classify its use as criminal[18]. In addition, the distinction between perpetrator and victim can also be somewhat blurred in cases such as assault.

Secondly, there is strong evidence showing that reported victimisation levels tend to increase with education, which is obviously (and particularly in South Africa) linked to income. A study in the United States showed that people with university degrees recalled three times as many assaults as those with a high school education.[19] It is conceivable that over-exposure to a particular crime category amongst certain NVS respondents (in this case people with little education) may result in lesser infringements - such as assault - not qualifying as ‘criminal'. This has also been observed in studies illustrating how various developed cities/countries have produced higher victimisation rates than poorer countries with higher levels of recorded crime[20].    

Thirdly, reporting of property-related and violent crime tends to differ significantly, based on various circumstances. When a given sample is questioned on exposure to violent interpersonal crimes such as assault and sexual abuse (particularly when it involves a non-stranger), the results are likely to reflect a significant under-reporting of actual exposure, due to a reluctance to report sexual abuse, child abuse, general assault and domestic violence. 

Moreover, there might be differences in the way poor and relatively wealthy respondents perceive property-related crime. Relatively wealthy people have more items of value, and are able to afford insurance, which requires reporting such crimes to the authorities. This might mean they are more likely to be conscious of, or remember, thefts they have experienced in the period covered by the NVS.

We think it fair to conclude that, while victimisation surveys provide some illustration of the level of fear and the extent of crime as a loosely defined variable, they cannot be used on their own to conclude who is worst affected and by extension, which group is most in need of intervention. They might work to a very limited extent with regard to property crime, but are unable to adequately shed light on incidence of assault, attempted murder and sexual abuse.

What the statistics tell us

We have looked at several sources in an attempt to break down crime by race. Given the impossible task of accurately quantifying the level of serious crimes (including sexual offences and assault) using official statistics - due both to under-reporting and poor or unavailable police data - the best indicator we have to gauge the level of violent crime is death by non-natural causes, and homicide rates in particular. And while assaults and even attempted murders may often go unreported, very few murders do.

In 2008/2009 18 148 people in South Africa were murdered. This amounts to 37,3 people per 100 000, or just under 50 per day.[21] The evidence we have examined indicates that the victims are disproportionately African and coloured working class people. Young men are also disproportionately represented in the murder statistics.

We examined Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) mortality data to determine the breakdown of murders by race. Our analysis is inconclusive but it indicates that victims are disproportionately Africans and coloureds.

Stats SA has released several mortality reports since 2000, one of which provides data on unnatural deaths broken down by race.[22] This report published the results of a detailed analysis of a 12 per cent sample of death notification forms from 1997 to 2001.[23] 

There is no specific murder category. Instead we examined unnatural deaths, which includes murders, suicides, motor accidents, poisonings, etc. The largest category of unnatural deaths is unfortunately titled ‘Unspecified'. Until 2000 ‘unspecified' was the largest cause of death overall, after which it was overtaken by AIDS. Table 1 shows the percentage contribution to the South African population for each race during this period. Table 2 shows the unspecified unnatural deaths broken down by race in the sample. As can be seen, the race groups are affected by crime in approximately equal proportion to their contribution to population. However, the data are very limited because an additional 13 946 unspecified unnatural deaths, i.e. 45 per cent, were classified as ‘other or unknown' race.

Table 1: Percentage contribution to South African population for each race 1997 - 2001[24]

Race

% contribution

African

76.7

Coloured

8.9

Indian

2.6

White

10.9

Source: Stats SA

Table 2: Contribution by race towards unspecified unnatural deaths 1997 - 2001

Race

 

% contribution

African

13,100

78.06

Coloured

1,730

10.31

Indian

325

1.94

White

1,627

9.69

TOTAL

16,782

100

Source: Stats SA

Nevertheless, one category of unnatural death does indeed shed light on the relative proportion of murders per race group: death by assault.

Table 3 shows deaths by assault for males broken down by race. This shows that African and coloured men are disproportionately affected. However, again an additional 432 deaths in this category were classified as ‘other or unknown' race.

Table 3: Male deaths by assault 1997 - 2001

Race

 

% contribution

African

1,230

81

Coloured

209

14

Indian

18

1

White

54

4

TOTAL

1,511

100

Source: Stats SA

Myburgh quotes what he regards as a racist statement towards whites by the late Dullah Omar in February 1999. He then writes: ‘It is an open question whether [the ANC's] racialist propaganda would have given the green light to criminals to cross over the colour line en masse.' It is far-fetched to imply that an obscure statement by a minister would have been sufficient to encourage cross-racial crime. But furthermore, evidence from the Stats SA report shows this cannot be the case. Unnatural deaths are decreasing, or at worst stabilising (and this is confirmed by follow-up Stats SA reports and police murder statistics) amongst all groups. Myburgh's implied theory of increased attacks on whites due to the ANC's racial rhetoric is consequently unfounded.

More compelling data come from the Medical Research Council (MRC). In an investigation into female homicide rates in South Africa in 2004,[25] the MRC used national mortuary data to determine that 2,8 of every 100 000 white women die as a result of murder, whereas 8,9 Africans and 18,3 coloureds meet the same fate. This shows, that at least for women, Myburgh is very likely wrong and the academics are right. Black women are disproportionately murdered.

Another recent study by the Centre for The Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) analysed homicide rates in high-risk areas in Kwazulu-Natal, Western Cape, and Gauteng,[26] using a representative sample of police dockets.  Of the sample 85 per cent of homicide victims were black, nine per cent were coloured, five per cent Asian and one per cent of victims were white.

Cape Town: a case study

Cape Town is the South African city that best exemplifies the uneven distribution of resources that renders this country one of the least equal societies in the world in terms of income.[27] Its demography is stratified more than any other city along geographic lines - a remnant of the Group Areas Act. It also happens to fall into one of the most violent provinces in the country, and is the city in which Huntley resided.  We have analysed Cape Town's crime data to illustrate the extent of serious and violent crime, and who is most affected by it.

A recent study carried out by the City of Cape Town[28] contains a breakdown of crimes under investigation by each police district in the year 2007/2008. The results indicate a significant disparity between homicide and rape cases in low-income areas when compared to wealthier and traditionally white communities. It was found that of the 58 police districts in the city, five police districts account for over 44 per cent of murders - Nyanga (13,18 per cent), Harare Khayelitsha (8,67 per cent), Khayelitsha (8,47 per cent), Gugulethu (7,58 per cent), and Delft/Belhar (6,1 per cent).[29] This is illustrated graphically in figure 1.

A similar scenario emerges with rape cases: Five police districts account for 34 per cent of reported rape cases, Nyanga (7,97 per cent), Harare (6,91 per cent), Mitchell's Plain (6,83 per cent), Khayelitsha (6,75 per cent) and Delft/Belhar (5,28 per cent).[30] This is illustrated graphically in Figure 2.

Looking at these graphic representations we can immediately tell that for both rape and murder, the lowest number of reported cases occurs along the Atlantic Seaboard (Camps Bay, Sea Point, etc); and along a corridor of affluence that stretches from Simon's Town in the south to the prosperous southern suburbs (Constantia, Claremont, etc.), and then east through the northern suburbs to the city limit. There is indeed a higher incidence of rape and murder cases in certain areas in the northern suburbs that include middle-class white and coloured suburbs, but this can be explained by the fact that they are large geographic areas that also include large poor and working class communities.

Property crime is the exception to the rule, although rather than targeting whites or minority groups (as argued by Huntley and Myburgh), perpetrators tend to target areas that are economic hubs, and areas that are adequately saturated with consumers. The main areas affected by business crimes include the city centre, Bellville, Mitchell's Plain and Parow - all of which have numerous shopping centres and businesses and vary in terms of racial composition.

When using another dataset compiled by the MRC in cooperation with the City of Cape Town[31] to conduct a broader analysis by sub-district, considerable disparities in the rates of fatal injuries occur across all categories (Figure 3). Most striking is the comparison of homicide rates - from the relatively low levels of under 26,1/100 000 population in the southern district to 110,5/100 000 in Khayelitsha. The former encompasses some of Cape Town's wealthiest residents and a large white population, while the latter contains some of its poorest residents, and is predominately black. These areas also correspond in terms of the lowest and highest rates of road traffic fatalities, which further highlights the effect that a lack of physical infrastructure can have on community safety.  

Conclusion

As we have emphasised, the data are incomplete and the evidence not conclusive. Nevertheless, the available evidence indicates that the burden of serious crime is disproportionately absorbed by black and poor South Africans. Brandon Huntley's argument to Canadian immigration authorities is not supported by available facts. 

Fighting over resources is unlikely to produce positive results for anyone, but it is our duty to acknowledge the realities of our past and present if we are to succeed in creating a safe and secure future for all people living in South Africa.

Figure 1: Spatial distribution of reported murders by police precinct (2007/08)

Source: J Gie, Crime in Cape Town: 2001-2008,  A brief analysis of reported Violent, Property and Drug-related Crime in Cape Town, City of Cape Town, 2009.

Figure 2: Spatial distribution of reported rape by police precinct (April to December 2007)

 

 

Source: J Gie, Crime in Cape Town: 2001-2008,  A brief analysis of reported Violent, Property and Drug-related Crime in Cape Town, City of Cape Town, 2009.

Figure 3: Age-standardised death rates (pooled estimates) due to injuries by sub-district, Cape Town 2003, 2004, 2006

Source: P Groenewald et al, Cause of death and premature mortality in Cape Town,2001-2006. Cape Town: South African Medical Research Council, 2008.

*Gavin Silber is the Policy, Communication, Research and Education Coordinator at the Social Justice Coalition. Nathan Geffen is a researcher with the AIDS Law Project. This article first appeared in SA Crime Quarterly no.30 December 2009, a publication of the Institute for Security Studies.

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Notes


[1] J  Myburgh, Did 142 academics & others get it wrong on crime, 2009, /politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=143475&sn=Detail (accessed 15 October 2009).

[2] Freedom Front Plus Statement on Politicsweb. ANC Racist About Asylum Status in Canada - FF+, /politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=141668&sn=Detail (accessed 10 October 2009).

[3] Afriforum Statement on Politicsweb: Afriforum Seeks To Intervene In Canada Asylum Case, /politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=142486&sn=Marketingweb+detail (accessed 10 October 2009).

[4] Ninety per cent of people under the poverty line (earning less than R924pm) are black.

[5] B Holtmann, Breaking the Cycle of Crime and Violence: Essential Steps to a Safe South Africa, 2009, http://www.safesouthafrica.org.za/the-model.html (accessed 13 October 2009).

[6] Sub-Directorate Population Development in the Research and Population Directorate Department of Social Services and Poverty Alleviation, The Population Register Update: Khayelitsha, 2006. 

[7] Statistics SA, Census 2001: Census in Brief, 2001.

[8] Ibid.

[9] City of Cape Town data referred to in Poswa and Levy, Migration study in Monwabisi Park (Endlovini), Khayelitsha, City of Cape Town, 2006.

[10] Statistics SA, Census 2001: Census in Brief.

[11] South African Constitution, Bill Of Rights, Section 12, 1996.

[12] R Humphries, Crime, National Opinion Survey, Human Sciences Research Council, 1999.

[13] B Burton et al, National Victims of Crime Survey South Africa 2003, ISS Monograph 101 (July 2004).

[14] National Victimisation Survey, Institute for Security Studies, 2007.

[15] M Harris & S Radaelli, Paralysed by fear: Perceptions of crime and violence in South Africa, SACQ 20 (2007). 

[16] M O'Donovan, South Africans' perceptions of the police and the courts: Results of the 2007 National Victims of Crime Survey, ISS Occasional Paper 176 (December 2008).

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] W Grove et al, Are Uniform Crime Reports a Valid Indicator of the Index Crimes? An Affirmative Answer with Minor Qualifications, Criminology 23 (3) (1985).

[20] Ibid.

[21] SAPS, 2009 at http://www.saps.gov.za/saps_profile/strategic_framework/annual_report/2008_2009/2_crime_situation_sa.pdf

[22] Causes of death in South Africa 1997-2001: Advance release of recorded causes of death, Stats SA: 2002.

[23] Nathan Geffen used this report to debunk Rian Malan and, by proxy, President Mbeki's pseudoscientific views on AIDS statistics. See http://www.tac.org.za/newsletter/2004/ns20_01_2004.htm (accessed 20 October 2009)

[24] State of South Africa's Population Report 2000, 73, http://www.info.gov.za/otherdocs/2000/population.htm (accessed 20 October 2009)

[25] S Mathews et al, A National Study of Female Homicide in South Africa, MRC Policy Brief 5, 2004. 

[26] Streets of Pain, Streets of Sorrow, CSVR, 2008.

[27] H Bhorat, Business Report 2009,  http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=552&fArticleId=5181018 (accessed 15 October2009)

[28] J Gie, Crime in Cape Town: 2001-2008,  A brief analysis of reported Violent, Property and Drug-related Crime in Cape Town, City of Cape Town, 2009.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] P Groenewald et al, Cause of death and premature mortality in Cape Town, 2001-2006. Cape Town: South African Medical Research Council, 2008

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As we have emphasised, the data are incomplete and the evidence not conclusive. Nevertheless, the available evidence indicates that the burden of serious crime is disproportionately absorbed by black and poor South Africans."
Gavin Silber and Nathan Geffen
 

Comments

If you come across comments that are injurious, defamatory, profane, off-topic or inappropriate; contain personal attacks or racist, sexist, homophobic, or other slurs, please report them and they will be removed.
 
 responses to this article

The criminals are not me.
This may be true, that black SAcans targeted by their own people.

But I am innocent of this, it is only that my family are being targeted, and the criminals in that case are not us.

by JVR on January 11 2010, 22:48
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Good Points, Poorly Presented
Gentlemen,

I applaud your intent, rationale and conclusions, but would suggest you present a summary and key insights.

This article reads far too much like the well researched academic paper it is. I don't think it is appropriate or . .more

by Greg Durst on January 11 2010, 23:03
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Seems compelling - what of the perps?
The article is sometimes quite good and well presented and , in other cases, pure conjecture. Overall, though, not too bad. However, one must also remember the flip side of Huntley's argument - i.e. what is the colour of the criminals? If one draws the . .more

by K25 on January 11 2010, 23:45
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Nonsense
Lies, damned lies and statistics. For example: the article states that only 2% of the victims in high-risk areas are whites. This actually proves the exact opposite of what the authors are trying to say, because whites don't live in these areas. Anything . .more

by Afrikaner on January 12 2010, 05:29
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Oh phucken thank you
Now if i want my black brothers to target you, all i have to do is to copy this comments page and place it in alex,soweto, tembisa, khayelitsha, langa and gugulethu.
Oh ja i forgot that whites don't live there i wonder why???
I sometimes enjoy . .more

by Thank You on January 12 2010, 06:49
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Crime stats
The crime stats used are between 1997 and 2001. What about 2002 to 2010?
Isn't that the time that the ANC government told us that the stats were wrong and soon after changed the way crime was reported?
Quite frankly, I don't believe a word of . .more

by Peter Gava on January 12 2010, 07:04
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Bullshit
I work in the security industry and what you are saying flies directly in the face of what I see on a bloody daily basis. I have been in this industry for 18 years and have NEVER arrested a white person for any offence!!! I have also seen that at least . .more

by Pieter on January 12 2010, 07:12
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Crime Stats
On top of all that, only 8% of those who are brought to book are ever convicted - according to the stats i have read.

So, bottom line is that we have:
A seriously inadequate gung-ho management
Unfit and over-weight personnel at street . .more

by Peter Gava on January 12 2010, 07:13
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Core question unanswered: what is the race of those attacking whites?
This long-winded article doesn't answer the core question: What is the race of the criminals? Is it whites murdering and attacking other whites, or is it disproportionately blacks murdering, raping and assaulting whites? We all know what an enormous . .more

by Anton on January 12 2010, 07:24
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crimegate
Gavin Silber - Nathan Geffen is cherry picking and misrepresenting the data. Two factors change the whole argument, who is commiting the crime and why is the white portion of victims so high as whites make up a small part of the total population. When . .more

by froggy on January 12 2010, 07:31
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Spin it the other way
Bulldust. 1997 - 2001 is a long time ago and includes ANC and Inkatha faction figting during the early part.

Truth is, if five or more whites die in a day from violence, it means whites are more exposed (10.9% of popl. 10% of daily deaths) this . .more

by Geanann on January 12 2010, 07:47
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Political A*** creepers.
Seems like somebody is trying to scrore points ?
As mentioned above, please state :
What percentage of all crime against Whites are committed by Blacks AND
What percentage of all crime against Blacks are committed by Whites . .more

by Silver Surfer on January 12 2010, 08:02
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why was my last post not shown ??
Let me tone it down for all who are PC.
Please answer the following 2 questions :
What percentage of crime on Whites are committed by Blacks AND
What percentage of crime on Blacks are committed by Whites ?
The article does not answer . .more

by Silver Surfer on January 12 2010, 08:11
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South Africans indifference
What exactly are the local people doing about crime? Neighbour watches with JVs with the police in Gugulethu? Patrols, real co-operation. NO: We do NOTHING out of simple laziness and incompetence of the population.

Like the lazy and incompetent . .more

by SAM on January 12 2010, 08:20
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I can only go by personal experience and statistics
I have clashed with many white @rseholes over the years but I have never directly been a victim of a white man or a black female. Every crime committed against me and my family in over 30 years since I was a school kid has been perpetrated by a black male . .more

by Swaar on January 12 2010, 08:23
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Not a very convincing article
If whites make up 10.9% of the population, yet suffer 9.69% of unspecified unnatural deaths depsite having vastly superior security in the form of electric fences, armed response units etc, then either:
1) these security measures aren't very . .more

by The great locust on January 12 2010, 08:34
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Violent house attacks
There is only one crime which scares everyone and that is being attacked in your own home in the middle of the night. This is the big one. Even Hijacking, mugging etc is bearable and who cares if someone steals your TV. But when someone wakes you up at . .more

by lad on January 12 2010, 08:35
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Silber and Geffen article on race and crime in South Africa
The more you blame apartheid and white people, the more black on white crime and racism we will have. Everywhere in the world black people are the highest people group of perpetrators of crime. Silber and Geffen are obviously trying to score points . .more

by White citizen on January 12 2010, 08:43
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Since..1652
1652 - The year of commencement of white murder against Blacks
1948 - State sanctioned murder against Blacks
1994 - Attempts at creating new better social order for everyone's benefit
Subsequently, plot is lost as opportunistic drug . .more

by Insultant on January 12 2010, 08:51
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What a purile argument
How are we going to discuss race without being racist? My father was murdered. It is of no consolation that proportionately more or less blacks or whites are victims or even perpetrators. It is a society disintegrating, because ALL feel like victims . .more

by Swazi on January 12 2010, 08:55
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stats, observation and opinion
The statistics I remember, which might be slightly out, are that black Americas represent around 12% of the population but represent 50% of their prison population. Recent pictures of black immigrants in Southern Italy could have been taken in South . .more

by Wendy on January 12 2010, 08:59
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the myth about blacks
The damning comments are a show of mental disorientation from those who made them.White crime is nicer than a black crime which means no matter how 300 years of crime against humanity on black people is concern , it is still ok with holy whites to talk . .more

by juniors on January 12 2010, 09:06
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Is it in the genes?
The percentage of violent crimes commited by blacks as a ratio to population will indicate that more thaan 90% of murders commited in SA are by blacks.

The savagery, that was characteristic to the "Dark Ages" in Europe, is still commonplace in . .more

by Geanann on January 12 2010, 09:07
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Most comments actually miss the point
It is interesting to see all the stupid arguments whites bring up when they face a well constructed argument that they cannot rebut. All the comments been made miss the point of the argument completely and are ad hominem arguments that miss the actual . .more

by Duh! on January 12 2010, 09:13
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I feel sad by this report.
I have been left sad by this report, not because of the stats but by the way everyone here is talking. I am white I have been hyjacked, shot at and attempted murder by a black person. BUT I dont believe that all Blacks are bad. I am sorry. I spend a lot . .more

by David on January 12 2010, 09:18
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Most comments actually miss the point part 2
Someone mentioned that he is a security guard and most of his victims are white. Of course most of your victims are white. How many people in kayelitsha or diesploot have private security? And yes of course black people live in these complexes but what % . .more

by Duh on January 12 2010, 09:23
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Most comments actually miss the point part 2
Someone mentioned that he is a security guard and most of his victims are white. Of course most of your victims are white. How many people in kayelitsha or diesploot have private security? And yes of course black people live in these complexes but what % . .more

by Duh on January 12 2010, 09:23
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@ white citizen
Perfectly summed up.

White South Africans must be the most naive creatures in the world.
Do a PROPER opinion survey in the U.S.A., U.K. and Australia and the result will be a resounding,-- "obviously blacks do crime,- its their culture". . .more

by Voortrekker on January 12 2010, 09:36
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this is article is poor... sorry
The intent of this article is good, I must admit, but purely for the lack of CORRECT data, this article should not have been attempted. There is just to much inference from INCORRECT DATA, and the stats from 1997-2000 is highly in accurate, this is well . .more

by unknown on January 12 2010, 10:28
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Soory but Africa tells the truth and that is that most blacks do murder rape and are corrupt
All this in very large doses given the statistics. The question is can someone or some group persuade them to move forward and stop this type of behaviour? They also cannot control their sexual behaviour resulting in ridiculous numbers of kids born. The . .more

by Black revenge? on January 12 2010, 10:29
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Race and crime in South Africa
@ insultant. Your comment seems to say that it is ok for your own people to kill and maim you, as long as it's not done by white people or state sanctioned. What a
mentality! Crime in this country seems to be sanctioned by the black State . .more

by White citizen on January 12 2010, 10:29
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The Rape and Crime and Murder in SA IS horrific
So why bother with this discussion rather spend time trying to attend to the causes of the problem. It is generally accepted that the black guys will blame all and everyone for their somewhat uncivilised behaviour so that needs to be addressed. Those who . .more

by By The Way on January 12 2010, 10:38
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..and so the year begins on moneyweb....
missed you bloody hypocrites during the holidays

by welcome back on January 12 2010, 10:50
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@ insultant
Brother, do you realise that through sheer incompitence and uncarring, our black government has killed more people in 15 years than whites did with apartheid since 1652. Wake up man.

by Eh? on January 12 2010, 11:13
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These two cretins are doing their level best to show that they are liberal
whilst the majority of their brethren have packed their bags and gone back to Israel or moved on to safer climes in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the UK.

by Whaata Poosiam on January 12 2010, 11:24
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A cultural problem

Crime with violence is a black cultural phenomena relatively isolated to Africa but also prevalent in areas where they have migrated to throughout the world.

It is inherent in a vast number of black males and is reinforced by the primitive . .more

by Educate on January 12 2010, 11:28
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profiling is the key
The advantage of knowing the statistical breakdown of race / crime is that you can protect yourself better by profiling. For example if you see 3 black males under 30 together in your street then you should move to a state of heightened security. You may . .more

by Swaar on January 12 2010, 11:34
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Good riddance
Go back to safe Europe .

by Mindlo on January 12 2010, 11:45
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Cruddy one sided article
The ANC has on a number of occasions, post 1994 incited genocide against a sector of the population. "Kill the Boer" (Peter Mokaba) and "one settler" one bullet" . Incidentally the unspeakable low life cretin Patricia de Lille ( if she doesn't scare you . .more

by Lord Max master of infinity on January 12 2010, 11:51
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Clarity on points made please.
"MRC used national mortuary data to determine that 2,8 of every 100 000 white women die as a result of murder, whereas 8,9 Africans and 18,3 coloureds meet the same fate. This shows, that at least for women, Myburgh is very likely wrong and the academics . .more

by math101 on January 12 2010, 11:55
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Clarity on data used please and conclusions
Data is 1997-2001. Application made in 2008/9. Is the statement that crime has deterioted since 2001 accurate? The data does indicate that a coloured appears disproportionately at risk in RSA. Does that imply that a coloured should be allowed to claim . .more

by math101 on January 12 2010, 12:09
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@ Swaar / profiling.
Very good- hilarious.
Actually, if you see 3 black males under 30 together in your street, forget about moving to a state of heightened security,-- move to another suburb!

by Voortrekker on January 12 2010, 12:19
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Clarity on population figures and asylum law
Please clairfy the % population figures. I recall in previous articles stats SA was not able to confirm the number of people out of country as that was not their function. They could only comment on births and deaths. As such, does the % population . .more

by math101 on January 12 2010, 12:22
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frankfurter
Rape does not provide money or means. It is not a crime committed to put food in one's mouth or because one is poor. Yet SA has the highest rape statistics in the world. Rape in SA is commited mostly by black men on black woment. So what does this . .more

by The unerlying meaning of rape statistics on January 12 2010, 13:19
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Stats are made up of police reports
During the last four years six family members and myself have been victims of crime in nine incidents. Yet the SAPS refused to allow us to lay charges. In one incident the family member was actually arrested illegally on trumped up charges as he insisted . .more

by Ma'at on January 12 2010, 13:23
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Watch how they dance
How are they so used to the sun....!!!!!!!!! Effort Effort Effort - the bright light shout above. Only when I go hungry will I ever make a move

by Swart Gevaar - the LION on January 12 2010, 13:31
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Pity
Unfortunately blacks are the culprits here, they are dead...anyone ever check their eyes? dead pan!!!!! nothing there.

by Andy on January 12 2010, 13:33
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Cash heists carried out by blacks
What the authors miss is that by Canadian standards our crime levels would be unacceptable irrespective of the colour of the perpetrators.who in the main happen to be black.When last was a cash heist untaken by a group of whites.

by Mike on January 12 2010, 13:41
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And the huge number of kids they have!!!
Shocking irresponsible stupid uncontrolled sex-mad - whatever words you use to describe their procreation habits none can be kind. Shocking behaviour.

by Madness on January 12 2010, 14:55
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A reasonable article
It is sad to see so many people who are only willing to believe their own propaganda.

by Thabo on January 12 2010, 15:35
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Thabo, go forth and multiply - that's seems to be what your race is good at
zzzzzzzzzz

by BillyDayid on January 12 2010, 15:54
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Maybe...
Maybe the whites should start robbing and murdering the blacks.

Ooohh....wait, then the whites will be racist won't they?

by Idea on January 12 2010, 16:11
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Liberal rubbish. Tell us who kills who. That would mean something.
Table 2 and Table 3 support the arguement, BUT the fact that probably 99% of unnatural unspecified deaths and deaths by assault of Blacks are caused by other Blacks. And probably 90% of the white deaths are also caused by Blacks. I hardly think that . .more

by mike on January 12 2010, 16:15
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On race and crime in SA
I sort of got to the statement ...'we cannot definitively prove it' and decided that what follows is as valueless as the rubbish spewed out by the 142 people that should have known better. Thanks for being honest about that, at least, it saved me a great . .more

by Longfellow on January 12 2010, 19:16
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@ mike: You're quite right.
The really telling question should be: "How many whites are being killed by whites?" It is generally accepted that virtually all whites that are killed turn out to have been unwilling participants in black cultural activities, despite whites often being . .more

by Alset on January 12 2010, 20:33
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A reasonable article
But...in a way it supports the Huntley argument. Some of the earlier comments pick up on this - namely, that if whites are perceived to be more affluent than their black counterparts then they could very well be targeted by black criminals. Not for being . .more

by Fearful on January 12 2010, 22:30
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Does it matter
The reality is that most people in S.A. are targets and given the crime rate, in my view it does not matter to me which group is so-called disproportionately targeted as the overall crime rate is disgracefully high.

Also, you can critisise . .more

by Phil on January 13 2010, 00:38
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What A Bunch of Jokers
"The use of populist rhetoric and unsubstantiated claims when addressing the issue of crime - or any other social issue, for that matter - is dangerous and irresponsible."

Are you serious? This overly lengthy report is filled to the brim with . .more

by Van Ice on January 13 2010, 10:25
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Moreover, jokers, ....
Moreover, have you considered even if the murders were slightly disproportionate, in favour of your fish wrap report (which they aren't), that whites and Asians go to extraordinary lengths to protect themselves? Imagine if they didn't.

by Van Ice on January 13 2010, 10:46
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Flawed logic
Well,,one can play with statistics as much as you like...but the Government is not protecting minority whites from the criminals [i.e. sadly, statistically the non-whites].I have no doubt that they are also not protecting the majority...but this does not . .more

by Peter Clarke on January 13 2010, 17:04
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Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
I know little about crime affecting non-whites during apartheid, as I am white. I do know that crime stats generally were markedly lower & it was unusual to even hear of a friend or relative affected by crime in SA, then. Since majority rule in SA there . .more

by John Austin, London on January 13 2010, 23:51
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living between wolves.
Gavin Silber and Nathan Geffen both of you don't think!
If you refer to statistics, it is possible that proportionally more k4 are killed by k4 as their living conditions are as in the wild and they act like wolves. The strongest takes all. Many of . .more

by fc on February 12 2010, 15:54
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Whites
I think whites are the reason South Africa has a lot of crime, because since apartheid when the countries resources were distributed among the whites only this brought poverty among blac citizens, the biggest mistake by the ANC was to allow whites to stay . .more

by Black movement on October 20 2010, 09:22
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Black movement
Please buy my farm at the real value and confirm that you will give my workers the same security I have given them for the last 20 years and I will leave immediately.

Interesting article with a superb response, we should get more of this. Howe . .more

by fb on December 21 2010, 15:18
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Geffen & Silber need to get back to basics
I find it curious that the authors (Geffen & Silber), whilst referring constantly to 'racial groups' have failed to produce standardised rates for these groups in terms of deaths by assault or unnatural causes. In any setting, one would expect the . .more

by JH on April 19 2011, 05:41
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Short Sighted
In your introduction you claim i Quote,"We are concerned that painting whites as the primary victims of South Africa's social ills is unproductive"
This already tells the reader that you are taking a bias point of view !!!!!!
its about ignoring . .more

by David on March 30 2012, 16:32
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Just not true
Your article is just not true. In this present day and post-Apartheid period (2013) black South Africans are also being murdered by blacks. Dogs are being gang raped by blacks. Blacks are being tortured in the worst possible ways by their own. One black . .more

by GodsChild on July 25 2013, 00:38
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Lots of self-appointed experts on here...
...who apparently think they've debunked the study which is hilarious. Also, what is it with white South Africans obsessively wanting the murder rate to be higher? Let them continue the ongoing ruin of their reputation, that's just weird and . .more

by Fary on April 25 2014, 10:59
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