n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Perceptions of crime in disadvantaged communities : the THUSANO project

Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The article is based on a multidisciplinary project called THUSANO (a Tswana word meaning to help one another). This study was undertaken by the Subject Groups Social Work and Kinderkinetics of the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). Fifty families were involved in this project and were evaluated with regard to many different aspects, such as child development, family violence, HIV / AIDS and crime. This article reports on the perceptions of crime among these seven communities in the Northern Cape who are all part of the Kuruman district. Data was gained by way of an in-depth personal interview with the caregiver of each of these families. These communities are characterised by the absence of the fathers / husbands during the week, therefore it was the mothers / caregivers that were interviewed. It was found that these communities were not extremely vulnerable to crime, which led the researchers to reflect on the reasons for this fact. Despite weaknesses such as poverty, alcohol misuse and women abuse over weekends, the communities had a natural support system in place to help one another. A general lack of commitment to fight crime was evident in these communities and can possibly be contributed to fear of victimisation. Participants felt strongly about imprisonment as the only measure to curb people form committing crime. The re-instatement of the death penalty was repeatedly mentioned during the course of the research endeavour.

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