Case studies of perpetrators of violent crime
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The promise offered by South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994 was that, with the end of apartheid, levels of violence in South African society would drop significantly. However, various forms of social violence at all levels of society, ranging from armed robbery to sexual violence and murder, have remained at extremely high levels. Although the rate of murder has declined slightly from approximately 20 000 a year to about 18 000 in 2007, South Africa still has one of the highest per capita murder rates in the world. It is in this context that the current study needs to be located. While violent crime has elicited widespread media coverage as well as considerable research attention, we still know very little about who participates in violent crime.