IRRC No. 878

A synopsis of urban violence in South Africa

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On 27 April 1994, all South Africans were permitted to vote for the first time, signalling the birth of a democratic state built on a constitutional democracy. Yet the wrath of gang-related activities in townships and other urban areas was clearly visible, as was the xenophobic violence that shocked the world. Very often the vast majority of victims have been innocent civilians, and especially women and children. This article gives an overview of the various forms of violence in South Africa and also briefly considers the state's responses to them within the various legal frameworks.

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