oa South African Human Rights Yearbook - Violence

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1354-3903



Violent crime of one type or another in South Africa received saturation media coverage during this period, fuelling perceptions of impending anarchy.1 Thus, the predominant self-image of South Africa during the two year period under review, which was relentlessly exploited by politicians, was that of a dangerous, violence-wracked society. The print media sensationalised this image further by false descriptions of South Africa as the reported rape capital of the world and 'probably the most murderous society on earth'.2 South Africa was also said to have been inundated with organized crime syndicates, 192 of which were reportedly being monitored by the police. The fact that, as Advocate Jennifer Wild cogently argues, organized crime syndicates had been an integral component of the apartheid State, and had never been dismantled, was conveniently overlooked.

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