Talk:Crime in South Africa

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Articles for deletion This article was nominated for deletion on September 21, 2006. The result of the discussion was keep.


Demographic breakdown of crime statistics?[edit]

There should definitely be a section on which demographic groups are most affected by crime in SA. I'm not sure where one would find such statistics. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.172.14.80 (talk) 12:15, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

What do you mean by 'demographics'? Race, tribe, gender, age, per-province or more in-depth study like income distribution, level of education, etc? The likelihood is that Stats SA does have some basic information like that, but I wouldn't like to think about extrapolating it from SAPS crime figures. If we're just talking about just racial breakdown I'd have to see these stats as reliable but would probably oppose it. Kit Berg (talk) 12:54, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

I mean that it would be intersting to see which socio-economic groups and racial groups are most affected by crime. I think that it would paint an interesting picture regarding S.A as similar statistics have done for the UK and the US. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.172.14.80 (talk) 12:16, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

If anyone is a subscriber to the South African Institute of Race Relations Surveys, they have a tendency to break things down by demographic groups. I recall being able to find things like life expectancy separated into race. (If you're curious, yes, it varies heavily across race groups.) That said, I'm not sure what their crime stats were like (or wherefrom), or whether they were broken down by race/income group/whatever. I used to receive copies at home in Cape Town, but no longer reside in SA. Warrickball (talk) 18:34, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Merge with South Africa Farm Murders?[edit]

Oppose - only because the Farm Murders page is a joke. Keep it as ghetto-ized as possible. This page actually has some potential to be informative and from a npov, but I have feeling the farm murders page will forever be haunted by extremists and closet racists. Lionchow 15:02, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Oppose - this article is probably going to become very lengthy with time, and then the farm murders would just have to be unmerged again, which is a waste of time. I suggest we may mention farm murders in the article, but keep the two articles seperate. Maybe something like "there are also lots of farm murders (see main article)" or something like that. --Adriaan90 13:02, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Oppose - farm murders fall ouside the boundaries of crime in South Africa. They are a separate social problem. SparrowsWing 08:49, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

The farm attacks are crime, like everything else, despite the conspiracy theories. However, I think it is best to keep them to their own article, as they will attract different editors. Wizzy 09:14, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Oppose - Farm murders is a social problem of a very vocal minority group. Kokey 18:44, 26 October 2006 (UTC) The farm murder page reveals that there are plenty of "animals" out there looking for an excuse to burn old and helpless people with irons in the face, rape woman and children and label the ones who dare to complain as "racists"."Huhh I can not respond nor debate, so I call you a racist"
Oppose - In the context of crime, farm murders are 'different' from normal crime, they normally happen in remote, rural areas, they are almost always targetted towards the white/caucasian farm owners (although attacks on farm workers who are not caucasian also happens quite a lot), they almost always involve extreme violence and even torture, and are part of a historical/cultural paradigm: attacks are being carried out oftentimes by people whose ancestors lived upon that land, which is a special kind of criminal motive. For whatever reason, do not merge! Rfwoolf 06:23, 29 January 2007 (UTC) Just FYI (and this is now 6 years after the last comment here and the passing of Nelson Mandela) - My own relatives who are of Indian origin living in SA,the family was just stabbed, raped, burned and then murdered on their sugar cane farm. This problem is alive and well, and it pains me to think anyone would call this brutality an exaggeration out of fear of being politically incorrect. That in itself is a bias, please avoid. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.45.165.232 (talk) 22:48, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

South Africa: Leaders Tolerate Plague of Violence[edit]

As suggested on the crime expo south africa website, this information is also relevant to this article: http://www.thetrumpet.com/index.php?page=article&id=2539

Citation: The SAPS (South African Police Service) uses private security companies to guard certain police stations.[edit]

As absolutely attrocious as the crime situation in South Africa is, there is nothing worse than unfounded allegations or inflated descriptions about things. I would like some references on the claim that the SAPS use private security companies to guard certain police stations.
Even if somehow they do, it may well be that they are not using those security companies to guard their stations, but rather for other security reasons, such as alarm systems, surveilance, and as a backup. The article as it reads now implies that the police service is so useless that it cannot even protect its own police stations. (And even if that WERE the case, it needs to be explained better. Rfwoolf 06:53, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

  • At last I have added a source to back and explain these claims:
Cops spend R100m on private security protection which states:
"The SAPS makes use of private security to free fully trained police officers to perform their core function -preventing and combating crime. Private security is employed for access control purposes and to safeguard property"
I believe I have amended that section of the article to reflect this.
Rfwoolf 07:20, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

For Charlesblack: Why I reverted your edit about 5 people more per 1000 population.[edit]

Thank-you for your change. As you can see I've reverted this change. As you may know you are of course entitled to revert it BACK to how you had it - but as is policy, we should try to discuss eachother's reasoning first so that one of us might convince the other to their point of view.

You removed the following:
While South Africa might lead the statistics for many violent crimes, these crimes only affect approximately 5 people more per 1000 population than countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand.
and cited
I took out comparison with Developed countries because it was extremely missleading, as 5 more crimes per 1000 people is quite large. ~ Charlesblack)

If you look at the diff before your change: | HERE you will find it in one of the middle paragraphs of the introduction section of the article.
Having read through the introduction section of the article, I do find that comment to be rather relevant and contextual, and is the exact type of information people wanting an encyclopedia article on the subject might want. However, as you say, it may be extremely misleading as' 5 more violent crimes per 1000 people is quite large you say. More over the fact is completely unreferenced and unsourced - and there lies the possibility that it is inaccurate or quite possibly false.
And for that reason I understand why you want to remove it.
Unfortunately in many cases it is better to amend something or improve something on Wikipedia and leave deletion as a last resort. Deletion -- in this case -- should only be used if something is false, and certainly if we simply can't verify something or find a source to back it up we can then look at deletion. But because you did not follow that line of thought, it stands that the line should not be deleted, and instead we should try to improve it and find some sources for it.
(I should jokingly say that you should become an Admin, they LOVE to delete all the encyclopedic articles that they find ANY conceivable error with - even with offers to improve it, much like the case of the Anal stretching article.)

Now, as a compromise, I have reverted that sentence, but will try add some tags to say it is an unverified source, or that a citation is needed, and I will try and improve upon its prose. If I find the time I will see if the claims can't be caroborated and found to be accurately true.

Rfwoolf 14:26, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

  • I have added a 'citations needed' (fact) tag after the sentence. AND, because the sentence was in the context of the controversy of crime statistics, I have added "For example" to the beginning of the sentence to make it more appropriate. Rfwoolf 14:34, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I will remove this. It is one of the clearest example of misuse of statistics I have seen at Wikipeidia. To make a big point out of, like, only five of 1000 people are raped or murdered?, I mean, what IS the point? To make this crime-rate seem small? It is an out of line attempt of using incomparable statistics. It makes me cringe. It is totally hopeless. Greswik 19:47, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Adding of 'External Resources' section, and allowing a link to an external crime website[edit]

Okay, I have this idea that adding links to external websites particularly about crime might be slightly problematic, but let it be clear that I am not sure. I know there have been some cases where external website linking on the South Africa article were removed, but to my knowledge this was only because they weren't pertinent to an article about South Africa, but this is an article about Crime in South Africa so I assume that external sites about that are allowed.
I am also more than aware that we don't want to flood this article with a list of junk websites, that are both controversial and unencyclopedic. Therefore strong discretion is advised. In this case we seem to have a website that is both relevant to crime in South African, and aims to provide an independant source on crime statistics. As far as I'm concerned it should be included. Please feel free to discuss your views with me.

There are a number of other relevant websites that could be included, some of which have grown redundant:

  • [DONE] www.iss.org.za - is the Institute for Security Studies - which releases a quarterly publication on crime called SA Crime Quarterly -- they also do a lot of crime research.
  • [DONE] www.crimestats.co.za - started be a prominent businessman and (I think) the same guy that started E-blockwatch, this site tries to collect independant crime stories - regardless of violent or otherwise.
  • [DONE] White Colar Crime - another one that tracks white colar crime - but I don't have the link
  • crimebusters - run by KeithNOT, which tracks crimes that they deem to be pertinent that aren't always very well covered in the news.
  • [DONE] There's the DA's crimewatch site

Any others? Rfwoolf 09:17, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

    • truecrimexpo.co.za has been added by a user. Let it be known that I'm not sure about this one - it isn't an inflamatory website - it indeed seems to be an honest website trying to comment on crime - but so far it's rather empty - and I can't see how it would be very important.
However, here's the crunch: if I had looked up this article and I wanted to know more about Crime in South Africa, would I want to know about that website? The answer, is yes, and so long as the website isn't imbalanced, sensationalistic, or false then I can only think we should add it.
I suspect that after a while we will eventually come across someone that wants to add a website that's going to be problematic, but until then let's keep going.
Please keep using discretion when adding or considering links: is it pertinent to crime in South Africa. Rfwoolf 13:17, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Areas with "Very low crime rates"[edit]

Comment by Illiwara moved to this new section by Rfwoolf
I have removed the phrase "in areas of very low crime" from the text. All available experience and statistics indicate that there are no inhabited areas with "very low crime rates" in South Africa.

I'm inclined to call your bluff on this. While it is true that South Africa suffers from very high levels of crime, there are areas like in PE where there are still low walls or no walls around houses (and indeed in some places in Johannesburg you can see suburban houses with low or no walls), and indeed in some of the "wealthy" suburbs that all have high walls and electric fencing and boom gates and cameras and security guards -- I'm sure could be clasified as areas with "very low crime rates".
Unfortunately there is also discontention about what constitutes "low crime rates" and what constitutes "high crime rates" - perhaps the right thing to do is to change the wording to say "lower crime rates" as opposed to "low crime rates". What do you think?

12:26, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Interpol figures[edit]

I've noticed Interpol's figures often appear to include attempted murders and is mistaken for the murder rate. In other words, less than half the 114.8 'murders' are actual homicides. The report was published in 2002, and SAPS crime statistics from the previous year 2001 state there were 47.5 murders per 100,000 and 67.3 attempted murders per 100,000 - the figure comes exactly to 114.8 per 100,000.

Another one is from 1996 where the popular article 'Murder in South Africa: a comparison of past and present' claims Interpol recorded 54,298 murders while the SAPS had less than half that. Again, Interpol simply got the info passed on to them from the SAPS (as they do) and added attempted murders to the total. For 1996, 25,782 murders and 28,516 attempted murders comes to 54,298.

More than just a coincidence. Sarcastic Sid 08:57, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Good work. I say we amend it. I'm one of those that thinks South Africa's biggest problem is crime, and that it has a MAJOR crime problem, but we need to separate fact from fiction, reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Rfwoolf 10:49, 6 July 2007 (UTC)


Indeed. The crime problem in South Africa is huge, but there are some funny statistics going around which seem to have no basis. The +30,000 gun murders claimed by the UN for example is another strange one. I agree we should change the Interpol figure.

Regards. Sarcastic Sid 02:17, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

So is this going to be amended then? I see this WikiPedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_homicide_rate conflicts with much that is listed on this page ... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 196.31.55.135 (talk) 15:46, 11 February 2008 (UTC)


I assumed wolfie was looking for more consensus going on what he said. Sarcastic Sid (talk) 06:41, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Questioning the neutrality of a statement[edit]

I believe that this statement The media is often sensationalist in its reporting of crime leading to high levels of fear. The insurance industry usually requires level of home security much higher than the actual levels of crime for a region. This means that communities often install very sophisticated intruder detection systems. violates the NPOV requirement. Where is the evidence for this statement ? I live in South Africa and I do not find the reporting of crime to be sensationalist. I would argue that the media under-reports it. It been my experience that insurance companies only ask for a security gate and burglar bars on windows that open. I was not told to have an alarm installed. Therefore I have decided to remove this statement from this wiki. 165.145.212.116 (talk) 20:21, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

I'd back that on a lot of counts. The media is often sensationalist though - as in most places in the world. I just feel it's a redundant phrase. I wouldn't expect to see it in an article about crime rates anywhere else. The media in the UK can be very sensationalist but I don't think that covering a shocking crime in a way that demonstrates public outrage is sensationalist anyway.

The statement about the insurance industry is a bit odd. It seems to imply two things which are not necessarily true. One is that the insurance industry is not in touch with what is going on and pays attention to media reports and not its own research, which I very much doubt. I'd also back the insurers not asking for irrational security as well, but then I'm an ordinary boring middle class person without a lot of belongings who lives in a non-gated community. Who knows? Still seems like a personal experience thing though. Kit Berg (talk) 21:41, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it is a personal experience thing. I sure that you would agree that insurance companies use claims as a way of determining where crime hot spots are. Their actuaries then adjust their business model accordingly e.g. raising premiums for certain high risk policy holders. In addition, every insurance claim has a police docket associated with it (but not the other way round, of course). As a result insurance companies are in touch with what is going on because they have hard evidence. They have to be for their business to be profitable. Regarding the media: they are sensationalist in some respects but muted in others i.e. through self- or state censorship. The insurance companies certainly do not get their data from media reports. 165.145.228.77 (talk) 11:32, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Some time ago, people living in South Africa noticed the sudden swing in newspaper reports about crime. It was no longer newsworthy to list every murder, rape, and hoserobbery, in part because so many occur. I believe the daily rate of houserobbery (or was it hijackings, I forget) is about 350+ in Gauteng -- according to the statistics I read recently. I think in part it's a matter of finding balance - first of all journalists can't cover every single crime incident, secondly they don't want to any way, thirdly the public themselves might not be very impressed if every newspaper article was crime-related (they might stop buying the newspaper). So I've now noticed a recent trend of journalists to put very strange angles on news-stories. Today I read one, about how a 9-year old girl was interregated over a hijacking. Turns out this was a newspiece about a MAN who happened to be driving in a parking lot where a hijacking/robbery was taking place, a police reservist shot both hijackers dead, and the man was arrested anyway out of suspicion. So they interregated his daughter (who was waiting for him to pick her up from school at the time of the incident), and they eventually let him go. Right, so instead of reporting another hijacking, focus on some innocent by-stander's daughter. Rfwoolf (talk) 13:04, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

The South African press are incredibly sensationalist in my experience. I have to say I'm gobsmacked anyone can say the SA media underreport crime, that patently isn't the case. Power Society (talk) 13:22, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:South African police date-rape poster.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 08:10, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

I removed the sentence about a woman having a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read. I read the article to which is referred, but this article does not state any sources either and cannot be correct. Wikipedia itself shows South-Africa's literacy rate as being 82.4%, and I cannot find any rape statistics about South Africa that indicates such high percentages. However, as statistics go, this may happen in some isolated rural areas, but surely this cannot be true for the entire population? 196.44.7.221 (talk) 09:20, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Advance fee fraud[edit]

About the section added, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_South_Africa#Advance_fee_fraud.
I don't think that it is a problem anymore in South Africa than any developed/developing countries. The SAP link given is the same generic information given by the UK/US/EU websites and does not indicate a specific problem to SA.
South Africa does have a crime problems, I just don't think that Advance fee fraud is one of them. Should we remove it? FFMG (talk) 08:55, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I took the one out of the South Africa page, as it's way too specialised a subject for the country page and isn't one of SA's differentiators. My first thought would be to either take it off or scale it down to a one-liner-plus-reference but I'm open to ideas. The one argument that would persuade me totally to leave as is is evidence that it's much more widespread in SA than most other places. If we used the bald 'it happens everywhere' argument, so does every other category of crime happen everywhere but there's a whole article dedicated to crime... Just out of interest, do any other perceived high-crime countries have pages dedicated to their crime problem? (thus spoke someone too lazy to look :)) Kit Berg (talk) 09:28, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

First of all I am a little surprised, WhisperToMe, seems to have gone around and added South Africa as a 419 country in various articles. It is not.
Secondly, I am not denying that 419 scams happen in SA, it does happen, but surely not to the extent that is been portrayed.
Maybe it could be mentioned, (as it does happen), but to give it a section give the impression that it is a massive problem in SA. It is not.
The article discusses crime in South Africa in general, there isn't a section about murders, rapes, or even carjacking. So why should there be a section about a crime that is not very common?
Some countries have a crime page, (Crime_in_the_US for example), I am sure there are others. FFMG (talk) 10:24, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! That's a good point, about there not being specialist sections really. There's no way that this is much more prevalent (if at all) in SA than in the US for example, where it's also an issue. I'd vote remove/put in general body as a single line in that case. Kit Berg (talk) 11:01, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree, maybe one line should be enough. But I am reluctant to make the change myself as I cannot see where it would fit best in the current article. I simply don't think that 419 crime have anywhere near the same importance as murders or rapes in SA.
Other crimes have references, statistics and so on. I would be hard pressed to find statistics about Advance fee fraud in SA.
Personally I would remove it altogether unless a proper references can be sourced, (as I mentioned, the SAP reference is nothing more than the generic version given by most forces around the world). FFMG (talk) 11:21, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

FFMG, read below. It specifically addresses 419 in Johannesburg. Please read the entire source. http://www.saps.gov.za/crime_prevention/commercial_crime/419_scams/about_419.htm includes, at the end "It has come to the attention of the South African Police Service that a scheme is active in the Johannesburg area, whereby any person can open an anonymous bank account in a European country." WhisperToMe (talk) 20:07, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

You are missing the point that I and others are trying to make.
Why do you want to create a section dedicated to a crime that is not on the same level as the others crimes discussed in this article?
There is no section on crimes far more important like murder, rape and so on so why should there be one about AFF? Because the article is about crime in SA in general, and not listing each crimes.
The article discusses crime in SA, your section tries to educate the reader about AFF.
It is totally out of place with the article, why don't you rather try and include it in the article a bit better? As suggested maybe a sentence would be better, (as with the other crimes).
Furthermore please don't use my talk page to be condescending. No one is disagreeing with you, we are simply saying that a whole section about AFF is out of place in most of the articles you added it to today. The reference is a typical police warning about a 419 crime.FFMG (talk) 20:28, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
The reason why I feel the reference was not read is that you described a typical "typical police warning about a 419 crime" - Yes, one was there, but the real reason for the warning was to demonstrate that AFF takes place in Johannesburg and that section is at the every end. If that section was addressed in some capacity by your reply I would have known you read it. By not addressing it and by describing the warning as a "typical police warning about a 419 crime" it gave me the idea that you did not read the entire warning.
What I will do is I will find a way to better incorporate the material into the article. Now I have a ton of citations that address 419 being operated from South Africa. If the point is that "AFF does not need its own section" - that is best solved by reorganizing the data. I will see how "Financial crimes" will work, as other types of financial crimes can be included. Perhaps "violent crimes" and "financial crimes" can work as section headers.
"The article discusses crime in SA, your section tries to educate the reader about AFF." - In regards to the new section, AFF in South Africa, as I mentioned the finance minister creating a phone hotline and the various SA kidnappings and murders.

WhisperToMe (talk) 20:43, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I found a research paper written by a student at a South African university about 419 in South Africa. Even if the paper itself is not a reliable source, we could use the sources cited in the paper to write information about 419 in South Africa: http://etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-09272006-115222/unrestricted/thesis.pdf

WhisperToMe (talk) 20:49, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Just a note - I'm not sure that the last para of that advisory even refers to 419 scams exclusively. It indicates that there is a scam whereby fraudsters will enable a person to open an overseas bank account. This is surely an attempt at identity theft et al, not merely 419-related. Kit Berg (talk) 21:05, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

But police forces in many countries use the same, (kind of), warnings as the one given by SAP, will you go around changing those pages to?. The met police for example talks of "increasingly from European cities with large Nigerian populations, notably London and Amsterdam.". The FBI, reports it as a common crime. Do they even mention South Africa?
At the end of the day, 419 crimes in SA do not deserve their own section in this article. As I have tried to mention, the way it is now it looks like 419 crimes are the number one problem in SA.
The new section you created now makes it look like finance is the biggest problem. I really don;t see why the need to change the direction of that article.
I can reference dozens of articles about rapes, carjackings, robberies, or murder. But I am really hard pressed to find as any about financial crimes, (apart for J. Zuma and his adviser).
The student paper, or the finance minister do indicate that the crime does exist, but doe sit deserve a whole section? FFMG (talk) 21:08, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
While police forces do tend to have similar letters, I wasn't actually citing that section of the page; I was citing the very end that discussed Johannesburg. The reason why 419 in South Africa is significant is described in the Indian article - the text " South Africa worries that such scams will sully the country’s name. " accompanies the bit about the finance minister establishing the hotline. The crime has enough of a presence that South African authorities established measures to counteract 419 within South African borders. (No, I'm not talking about 419legal, a private website)
Also, I am not sure exactly how this will fit in the article, but I also found that some 419 people impersonate South African officials.
Two cases are here and here. I understand that there is a possibility that the perpetrators of these two cases may be in another country, so I do not know if that particular aspect belongs here. WhisperToMe (talk) 21:34, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Establishing a task force while a crime which is serious enough that it could tarnish your reputation is still in its infancy in the hope that it will not take root? That is perhaps just proactive? It doesn't mean that it is an enormous problem, merely that it could easily become so if left alone. The finance ministry tends to be fairly open with the media and I can see why it would be an attractive story, but it doesn't change my view that the problem is not, in fact, as large as you are claiming. White collar crime, certainly. AFF specifically, not convinced. Perhaps I'm merely a denialist. Kit Berg (talk) 21:39, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

  • I also found this article from Edwin Naidu of the Independent Online (IOL) - http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=15&art_id=ct2004030710560989S52026&set_id=1 - I am not sure if the IOL and/or Naidu are considered reliable sources. I know Google News had Naidu says that 419 in SA got 100 million rand. The IOL source, this one from the IOL-affiliated The Daily News (Natal) [1] and this one from the iWeek magazine [2] quote Selby Bokaba saying "It is a serious problem - that's why we set up a commercial crimes unit to probe the scam" - I will search the statement to see who else repeats it. In other words, it seems like the crime has severity despite the proactiveness of the South African authorities. WhisperToMe (talk) 21:52, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, this almost 4 years old article inde does show that the 419 crime does exist in South Africa, this was never in question.
But the same can be said for any, (most), countries in the world. Will you be editing the crime pages of most countries? At the very least Asian and African countries.
All the quotes you give still do not convince me that we must change the direction this article is taking. For each articles/papers I can quotes 10 times more for other crimes.
We now need to add sections about Murders, Rape, Carjacking, Robberies to try and balance the article away from the minor crime section you added. FFMG (talk) 22:03, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Many countries in West Africa already have 419 mentioned - Nigeria got one after consensus was reached and and I added citations (particularly embassy statements - the USA Embassy in the Ivory Coast has a great resources) for the others (Senegal, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Burkina Faso) - Anyhow, it is perfectly fine to add more information about violent crime in South Africa to balance with information about financial crimes - I also remembered reading some article discussing a kidnapping talking about the Nigerian fraud being combined with South African violent tactics, but I cannot find it (or tell which one it is) EDIT: It's from here: [3] - It's a personal website so I cannot use that. WhisperToMe (talk) 22:14, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
What about the US and EU countries? Will you be editing those as well?
I am also curious to know your views on the points I keep raising, mainly that your new section, (that you added without consensus and you are now refusing to remove), is putting undue weight on the article toward a what is a minor crime in South Africa.
The 419 section is steering the article away for the more important crimes, (causes and solutions), that were been discussed in previous versions. FFMG (talk) 22:15, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Regarding the EU there is a discussion about 419 at Talk:Netherlands. I am considering adding Spain if I find enough sources talking about 419 taking place within Spanish borders, such as embassy warnings, etc.

There is a source describing 419 henchmen in the USA (men assisting schemes, pressuring victims), but I am not entirely sure where to add that.

Anyhow, I don't see how the 419 section is necessairly "steering" the article away. The whole section takes words (as counted in a Word processor) is 115 words. The introduction to this article is 481 words. If one adds information about other financial and white collar crimes in South Africa AFF will not dominate the "financial scam" section. WhisperToMe (talk) 22:30, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Don't confuse 'steer' with number of words. I can give this article a distinctly racist bias in less than 100 words, given twenty minutes to play with. Or I could steer the SA page into 'SA is the land of milk and honey' mode by strategic placement of not much more.

I think the point is that it's one crime of a myriad. It seems illogical to focus on one aspect of something as if it's more important than others. Kit Berg (talk) 22:57, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

In any case, what I am doing is adding information about financial crimes in general (see the section below) to dilute the emphasis on 419 in the larger financial crimes section. WhisperToMe (talk) 23:05, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Article discussing *other* forms of white collar crime in South Africa[edit]

This person from the Institute of Security Studies posted a 1996 article about White collar crime in South Africa. I am not sure if it is still relevant, but here is what I found: [4] WhisperToMe (talk) 22:34, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I'd be loath to rely on a 1996 study for anything like this. For a start, there's a lot of phishing, etc., often carried out by foreign groups (consult any retail bank website for correlation). That kind of tech crime won't even get a mention, which immediately throws out everything else. Crime has changed a lot in 12 years, like many other things. Kit Berg (talk) 22:39, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Where would the material belong? Would something like a History section for crime work? - A USAID article written sometime after 2000 is here: [5] WhisperToMe (talk) 22:45, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps this more recent article could be a good start: http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=322032&area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__business/ WhisperToMe (talk) 22:47, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

And here is a 2005 speech of "OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE DEDICATED COMMERCIAL COURT, PORT ELIZABETH" - http://www.doj.gov.za/m_speeches/sp2005/2005_06_27_commercialcourt.html WhisperToMe (talk) 22:50, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

THe M&G's article is decent. It's a reasonable source and quotes something reliable. Capital of the world should read capital of 40 countries surveyed, but we shan't quibble too much about the tabloid headline, that's par for the course. As for the historical article, I really don't see what its place is. There are tens of thousands of pieces of research, historical news articles, etc. that I just can't imagine a place for in the Wiki. It's an encylopaedia, yes, but surely not a repository for everything that a person could possibly find? Kit Berg (talk) 22:53, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

  • I'll go add the M&G's material to the "Financial crime"s section :) WhisperToMe (talk) 22:56, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Advance fee fraud Edits[edit]

I made some changes to the Advance fee fraud / Financial crimes.

  1. Removed the India time a ref for the crime been common in JHB, I think SAP should be enough. If the crime is that common in JHB, I am sure we can find a local/domestic paper to report on the crime.
  2. I cannot find any other reference to the call center mentioned in the article, though I am sure there is one somewhere. The article only mentions that Trevor want a call center for businesses, but there is no mention of one.
  3. Removed the definition of the crime, if the reader wants to know more then can follow the links. We do not offer definitions for Murders or Carjackings, so there is no need to have this here.
  4. Added an SAPS report, but there is no results on the project itself.
  5. FICA should be mentioned as it is supposed to have reduced those scams and money laundering in general. FFMG (talk) 05:39, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

The edits are good :) - I'll see if I can get another ref for the call center. WhisperToMe (talk) 05:51, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Regarding Jo'burg I found a Namibian paper that cited South African police, who stated that Nigerians in Jo'burg suburbs operated many of those schemes. WhisperToMe (talk) 06:41, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm liking the look of this better now. I think long-term it might improve the article just by generating some kind of sub-divisions so that individual crimes don't appear as if they are the only problem.
One thing I'd like to see go is the first reference to the generic SAP advisory. If you read the advisory carefully, it actually does not state that 419 scams are common in JHB and so this statement really isn't carrying much weight. It states that individuals are claiming to offer a service where they will unlawfully assist SA nationals to open a bank account overseas. It does not state that this is to be used necessarily for transfer of 419 funds; it could be in fact a form of identity theft predominantly.
I don't believe that the call centre exists. There have recently been set up fraud hotlines but they are generic. They're doubtless used for this as well though. The Finance Minister merely wanting to do something some time ago doesn't seem particularly notable.

I'll refrain from doing any rewriting currently myself as I'm likely to be heavy handed still at this stage.  :) Kit Berg (talk) 06:47, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you, and I would go further and say that the problem with the whole AFF section is that it not really needed, not in this article anyway.
The sad part is that we are trying to make it 'fit' to prevent an edit war. Those scams are a reality in every developed and developing countries, so why add it to this article?
The fact that mostly only, (old), foreign papers can be used as sources would indicate that most South Africans are not affected by those crimes. FFMG (talk) 07:05, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Furthermore can we really use a 4 years old Namibian newspaper article, (somewhat related to their own land reforms), to illustrate a South African problem in JHB? FFMG (talk) 07:15, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
FFMG, the reason why AFF is famous is because of international crimes; the international aspect complicates investigation and allows for the fraudsters to get away with it. I do not see how South Africans not being affected by 419 schemes from their own country would make 419 in South Africa not notable. I'll see if I can find more South African articles about this. WhisperToMe (talk) 07:19, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Here is an example of an American living in South Africa (EDIT:Corrected) falling victim to a scam in Ghana: [6] - this isn't something to add to this article, but I think what happens is that 419 tends to be international and the victim and con man usually live in different countries. WhisperToMe (talk) 07:25, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I found a 2004 South African source that discusses 419:

- I do not know if this is referring to South African victims or South African perpetrators, or both WhisperToMe (talk) 07:27, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

This is another 4 year old paper.
The fact is, there is nothing to substantiate the statement "South African police sources stated that Nigerians living in Johannesburg suburbs operate advance fee fraud (419) schemes."
Maybe we should ask for a third party to review this section and make a decision if it should be removed or changed. I simply cannot see any relevance for any of it here.
Any suggestions as who we could ask to review it? FFMG (talk) 07:36, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Requests for comment is a quick method for someone to look at the issue. I am still scouring Google news. WhisperToMe (talk) 07:42, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
(ec) I have this article on my watchlist. If nobody has reviewed it in a couple of hours I'll see what I can do (I need a few hours because I have to go out now) Rfwoolf (talk) 07:43, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Rfwoolf - much appreciated! With reference to the 60 cases of AFF reported, I would imagine that the vast majority are people falling scams to overseas con artists, not local ones. My own observations (irrelevant of course but merely illustrative) indicate that many South Africans receive unwanted scam email fairly frequently. They don't appear to be generated from SA. I listened to a radio show some time back (it was actually quite amusing in a sad way) where the DJ had got one and phoned the number supplied to 'give them all his details' and had an argument with the person on the other end of the line. Nigerian accent, Spanish phone number. We really need more targeted references here with stats of the crime generated in SA for it really to become more valid. Kit Berg (talk) 07:48, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Kit, where should I find targeted reference? Do SA police departments keep detailed statistics about 419? WhisperToMe (talk) 07:41, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't know, to be honest. The crime statistics are available from the SAPS but I'm sure that the publicly released ones probably just state 'fraud' as that would likely be the charges laid (if any). But then again, I'm not a person who thinks that we should be including this particular crime so pointedly so I can honestly say that it would be for you to find them to boost your case for inclusion, not for me to weaken my own side of the argument.  :) Kit Berg (talk) 09:36, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Rfwoolf, much appreciated.
I think we all agree that the crime does happen in SA, but the same can be said about any countries really. It is an international crime not really that common in SA.
Most of the references are old and clearly indicate that, compared to other crimes discussed in the articles, it would , (at best), deserve a one line sentence rather than a full section. FFMG (talk) 07:59, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
There is also a similar discussion, (caused by the same set of edits), on the South African talk page, (Talk on Advance fee fraud).
The discussion also seem to be that the section should be no be re-added. FFMG (talk) 05:27, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Rfwoolf (talk) Seems to be busy, maybe someone else could have a look at the section.
I would hate to leave wrong/invalid information in any articles for too long.
Can you guys suggest any other user(s) to review the section or shall I do a request for RFC? FFMG (talk) 10:11, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I have moved Advance Fee Fraud stuff to its own subsection because I think we now have enough information to do so, and I added an introductory sentence and used a reference from elsewhere in the paragraph.
  • South African Interpol spokesperson Mary Martins-Engelbrecht told AFP last year that in South Africa alone some 60 cases of advance fee fraud were reported every day. - this reference is a bit ambiguous, does it mean "60 cases were reported in South Africa" or "60 cases were reported from South Africa" ? We should try find a better reference, for now I say we leave this tid bit out but as a compromise we can acknowledge (thanks to other references) that some scams do originate from South Africa -- which I've done.
  • Here's the thing, Advanced Fee Fraud does occur in South Africa, however I have read on many AFF websites the similar old story "it's not just Nigerians, it's in all countries and just about every continent". However, AFF can be relevant to Crime in South Africa, so if we find a reference that covers AFF crimes being perpetuated from South Africa, then that is relevant to Crime in South Africa and should be added in its own section. Remember that article writing sometimes takes a while to build up a decent section, so if for example you only have 1 line about AFF, then try put it in a general section like Financial Crimes (or Commercial Crimes etc). Now that we have 4-5 lines it can have its own section, I've given it its own subsection under Financial Crimes.
  • To FFMG and WhisperToMe, my advice is a compromise: keep the info on AFF, but be reasonably strict on the verifiability - e.g. the claim about 60 cases reported each day is no good. If we find a reliable source about that by all means please do add it.
  • The content on AFF should stay because it is relevant to the article Crime in South Africa. I agree that if this information was going on the article South Africa it would be a bit odd, because strictly speaking AFF isn't exactly very notable with regard to South Africa, in the same way that there are 419 scammers all over the world, doesn't mean we should mention it in the article on the USA or Australia or Canada or India. But this is not an article about South Africa, it's an article about the Crime in South Africa, and as such it is relevant. In theory we can cover all aspects of crime in South Africa in this article, but we would not do the same on the article South Africa, understand? \
  • Regardng The fact is, there is nothing to substantiate the statement "South African police sources stated that Nigerians living in Johannesburg suburbs operate advance fee fraud (419) schemes." - this statement could be relevant in a bigger/more advanced paragraph. Right now it looks a bit out of place I agree, but not worth removing. You can rephrase it if you really want to.


Rfwoolf (talk) 11:05, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Just a quick note re: Rfwoolf's comments above - I'm not unhappy at all with most of those thoughts. I don't dispute this issue's inclusion in the Crime in South Africa page and greatly appreciate the comments about non-inclusion in the main South Africa page; specifically as I was the person who initially removed the AFF discussion from the main South Africa page but left it here for further discussion - for that very reason.
I'd like to suggest, further, that we expand relevant categories a little to cover the spread of crime more equally and give more equal weight to other crimes. I think that may obviate any further disagreements here with regard to relative weight and importance. Thanks again. Kit Berg (talk) 21:06, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Rfwoolf's for the edits. Obviously I am surprised you re-instated the section given so little evidence that it is a problem in South Africa, but I am not going to keep going on about it.
If you guys feel that three, 4 years old newspapers report, (and only one local report), is good enough to make it the only crime that has a section here, so be it. I can only hope that the reader will realize that the section is somewhat out of place.
Because the crime is so uncommon in South Africa I cannot find anything that states it is not a problem.
Some, (newer and older), reports indicate that it is not a problem worth having a section here, but as I said, it is impossible to prove that something does not really exist to the extent portrayed here.
It is sad that, given the amount of crime in the country, such an obscure crime is wrongly giving the impression to the reader that it is the only problem worth mentioning.
I could, (should?), start a section on other crimes, but I would need to list 100's of crimes to make AFF even remotely a valid entry here. FFMG (talk) 07:19, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
FFMG I don't exactly disagree with you, but in some ways I do. For example South Africa does list in the top 10 countries in that document you provided (albeit quite close to last), but the statistics do show it to be an issue. What is more troubling is that when one speaks of crime in South Africa, by far, people are speaking about violent crime: murders, rape, robbery, etc and the incident of an AFF scam occuring every 1-2 days does not quite compare with 50 murders a day. However, there is already a necessary section on Financial Crime / White Collar Crime / Commercial Crime and AFF has its own subsection. I do not see enough merit in removing it, but on the other hand there is no mention of a variety of certain other crimes such as cybercrimes, identity theft, and other forms of corruption etc. If you can think of a way to restructure the information to better reflect the situation then you can, but right now I think it fits in quite well :P. So to finish off, I do hear you, but it would be wrong to delete relevant information just because other similar information is more important. Restructuring is an option. Rfwoolf (talk) 11:04, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Gated Communities section[edit]

Claim that maps don't show gated community boundaries[edit]

I've placed a citation needed tag on this claim. In my experience it's simply false. My street map of Johannesburg clearly shows all road closures as an X over the point in the road and I have yet to find an exception with an up-to-date map. There's no solid line indicating the entire boundary of gated communities, certainly, but that is irrelevant to the point about emergency services. Joe (talk) 15:22, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

There is a statement regarding attacks on farmers: One incident involved a farmer being stabbed 151 times using various weapons such as a garden fork, panga, shovel, sharp knife and a brick.

Perhaps an edit to clarify that one can't be stabbed with a brick 'might' be in order, though I admit I have no knowledge of the particular attack! MrZoolook (talk) 01:45, 13 January 2012 (UTC)