Violence report “under consideration”


A report commissioned by Cabinet in 2007 to probe the causes of the violent nature of crime in South Africa has been completed but is still being studied by that body’s Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster committee.


That`s the response from Police minister Nathi Mthethwa to a question asked by Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald.     

In a written answer tabled in Parliament this week Mthethwa said a statement regarding the study “will be made at the appropriate time.”

Cabinet commissioned the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) in early 2007 to study the use of gratuitous and excessive violence by criminals during the commission of crime.

The CSVR released a preliminary report in June 2007 that found that overall, “criminal violence is … a manifestation of South Africa`s historical traumas as well as contemporary social ills.”

It also found that while, “analytically, some violence can be described as ‘gratuitous`, much of the violence of exceptional concern is not necessarily gratuitous as acts of violence, but may serve a practical or emotional purpose for the perpetrator.

The report added that factors that may contribute to increasing the degree of violence in particular incidents may include:

·         The broad normalisation of violence.

·         The presence of firearms or other weapons.

·         Group dynamics and peer pressure and susceptibility to this on the part of individuals among a group of perpetrators.

·         Prior hostility towards the victims.

·         Low self-esteem, or other specific types of psychological pathologies or dispositions, the prevalence of which may be linked to factors such as family dysfunctionality and the level of previous exposure to violence.

·         A lack of confidence or poor communication skills on the part of the perpetrator.

·         Dynamics relating to the specific incident, including whether perpetrators believe they are being obstructed or lied to, language that provokes them, acts of resistance or defiance by the victim, and the mental state of the perpetrators possibly linked to their use of drugs or alcohol.

·         A desire on the part of the perpetrator for notoriety.