Exploring the high murder rate in South Africa

Keywords: Homicide, Manslaughter, Murder, Killing, Person, Police, Violence, Strain Theory, Justice


The objects of this research are: first, to explain some of the causes of high murder rates in South Africa. Second, to refute the labelling of South Africa as the murder capital of the world. Third, exploring some alternative ways to violence resulting in deaths.

The author investigated the following problems: murder done predominately by men, the inefficiency or shortcomings of the police to investigate murder successfully and lack of reports showing a drastic reduction of murders rates, possible due to lenient sanctions given by the courts.

The main results of the research are:

First, South Africa has been incorrectly referred to as the murder capital of the world. A label that scares would be visitors away from the country. This misleading labelling turned out to be factually incorrect according to several reports. Second, there are myriads of reasons why the death rates are very high in South Africa namely: varieties and normalization of violence; socio-economic inequalities; high youth unemployment rates; alcohol and drugs; culture of violence; easy access to firearms; lenient prison sentence; membership of gangsters; ineffective police investigation units; Mental illnesses or psychotic disorders and satanic beliefs.

The area of practical use of the research: is for all citizens, directly or indirectly affected by police and safer communities. Criminal justice students in higher institutions and criminal justice practitioners, government officials, and policymakers.


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Author Biography

Shaka Yesufu, University of Limpopo

Department of Research and Development


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How to Cite
Yesufu, S. (2022). Exploring the high murder rate in South Africa. ScienceRise, (1), 25-34. https://doi.org/10.21303/2313-8416.2022.002320
Legal aspects in the system of industrial relations