n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Victimisation of illegal migrants in rural communities in South Africa : the case of Mafarana village in Limpopo province

Volume 29 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



This study explored the causes and impact of the victimisation of foreign migrants who are residing illegally (i.e. undocumented) in South Africa. The case study captures their victimisation experiences from the Mafarana village situated near the town of Tzaneen in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. To explore the causes and impact of the victimisation of these illegal migrants, qualitative exploratory research was conducted at Mafarana village. Non-probability sampling was applied and snowball sampling was utilised to sample 26 illegal migrants. The research findings indicate that, due to their residential status in the country, illegal migrants are vulnerable to various forms of victimisation. In addition, due mostly to fear or lack of trust towards the South African Police Service (SAPS), the majority of crimes committed against illegal migrants go unreported and unresolved. Furthermore, the findings suggest that illegal migrants' status makes them particularly susceptible to victimisation and accordingly limits the reporting of their victimisation due to a perceived risk of deportation. The study concludes that the Tzaneen Municipality should work with law enforcement agencies to prevent an influx of illegal migrants in the area.

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