Crime in SA is not colourless

Jan Lamprecht: Crime in SA is not colourless: the 1997 to 2007 prison- and crime stats prove it:

“Clichés such as ‘Crime knows no colour’ are disproved in our crime statistics. Especially the cliché that ‘SA belongs to all who live in it, black or white.”  Under the ANC-regime since 1994, everyone who is not ‘White’, is legally classified as Black, even the Chinese. ‘Blacks’ are the people who are allowed to hold down jobs and get massive government benefits and food-aid – but ‘Whites’ do not: under the black-economic empowerment laws… So in this regard, the country definitely ‘does not belong to all who live in it, black or white’.

For instance, note the official prison demographics from the department of correctional services. Whites – who represent 10% of the SA population, only represent 1,68% of the total prison population. Blacks — 80% of the population –  also are 80 % of the prison population. Coloureds – only 2% of the population – make out 18% of the prison population.

Crime in South Africa has a definite colour and a definite gender.  Crime in South Africa is not colourless. It is BLACK and it is MALE.

Prison demographics: SA prison inmates, Gender and Racial Composition as of the last day of Feb 2011:

(apologies for poor reproduction but official government graph is very poor)

Races/gender/                                     unsentenced/                                   Sentenced/                        All Sentence Groups


official prison demographicsWhites represent 10% of the SA population but only 1,68% of the total prison population. Blacks — 80% of the population –  also are 80 % of the prison population. Coloureds, 2% of the population, make out 18% of the prison population.

Rather worrying is that so many unsentenced whites are in prisons: a total of 604 people at the end of 2011… Whites  awaiting trial should always get bail to save their lives: they for the most part have permanent domiciles and pose no risk of flight – but more importantly, whites often get a ‘murder’ sentence if they are held as trial-awaiting prisoners: whites are targetted 90% of the time in SA prisons for rape, sodomy by Aids-infected prisoners, and often also assaulted and murdered.

The South African crime statistics from 1974 to 2005

Lamprecht writes:  ‘The three arrows on the graphs below  coincide with important historical dates which affected this country. South Africa was firmly under White Apartheid rule in the 1970’s. The first serious sign of trouble were the 1976 Soweto riots. These were quelled, things quietened down. ANC terrorists were unable to enter the country in large numbers from the north because of the war in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). In 1980, Robert Mugabe came to power in Zimbabwe – amidst much international acclaim and approval. 1981 was a relatively quieter year in South Africa. In 1982 – Mugabe in power in Zimbabwe, the civil wars in Mozambique and Angola were over. The ANC-terrorists were now able to enter SA in large numbers. From 1982 to 1987, crime – in South Africa – in ALL categories went up. The rewritten SA history books note merely that the ANC’s “struggle against Apartheid” was occuring in this time. By 1987, South Africa was a hotbed of ANC terrorism. This was “the struggle” which they talk so proudly of. This was not warfare in the conventional sense. It was not really aimed at the “white power structures” but at civilians. Terrorism is about killing and terrorising the weak, the old, the young and the unarmed. And crime thus becomes just another dimension of terrorism. They also used crime as a way of funding their activities. So while Nelson Mandela’s ANC was busy planting bombs… his criminal gangs also were driving up the crime-rates. By 1987 things were really violent. The apartheid-government police fought back hard and a dip in most crimes is seen after 1987. .Nelson Mandela was released from 27 years in jail on February 11th, 1990. In 1989/1990, the Apartheid Government under President FW De Klerk was talking ‘peace’. They were talking about handing over power to Nelson Mandela and the ANC. And crime soared. Rape is the only crime that did not go up as a result of Nelson Mandela’s release. But every other crime – from burglary to murder exploded upwards. In 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first black President of South Africa, and the ANC took over the country. And most crimes then soared even more. Only In the car theft statistics there was a temporary levelling out in 1997 but then it soared again.

Moratorium on release of crime statistics from 2000..

As crime was getting worse under Mandela’s rule, and Jim Peron’s book was published  (which the Govt quietly removed from bookstores) the ANC-regime became rather concerned about their “image”. They weren’t so much concerned about actually combatting crime – but about everyone’s “perceptions” about crime. So in 2000, they did a strange thing – they put a moratorium on the release of crime statistics.

From 2000, until the present time (March 2007), the Govt has never again released crime statistics like they ever did in the past. Now, they simply keep all crime under wraps for a year and then they release the stats. They alkso started counting and categorising the crimes differently. The fudging of crime statistics from 2000 was firmly controlled. From then onwards  their official statements each year claim that violent crimes are “going down”. ALL CRIME SOUTH AFRICA 1974 1997

Murder often hides assassination of opponents in revolutions:MURDER STATS 1974  2005 SOUTH AFRICA

‘ Murder is an interesting crime – and also the one the Government is most likely to cover up. Murder can also be a way of assassinating one’s opponents. There is a proven link in revolutions between murder and assassination. Terrorists and Liberation Movements in many countries around the world have used murder and crime as a way of hiding their revolutionary activities. They not only use crime to obtain funds, but also to despatch troublesome people. Murder climbed quietly and constantly and exploded upwards ever since 1994 – until the police started fudging the stats and put a moratorium on the publication of crime from 2000.

There are two acknowledged formal crime-stats sources  in South Africa other than the fudged police-stats:  The Institute for Strategic Studies: Click here for ISS Crime Statistics.  And the SA government’s: Click here for the South African Govt Crime Statistics page.





This was a summary. Lamprecht’s entire article is located on his website AfricanCrisis  –

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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