South Africa Among The Top 10 Most Violent Countries In The World

The World Health Organization has released its latest statistical update for global health around the world – which includes data on the global homicide rates.

According to the group’s data, with a homicide rate of 35.7 murders per 100,000 population, South Africa is the 9th most violent country in the world – and the second most violent in Africa below only Lesotho (37.5).

The WHO tracked homicide rates across 194 countries, and found only 16 were in the “most violent” category – with more than 20 murders per 100,000 population. Aside from South Africa and Lesotho, all of the most violent countries were in South America.

A crime and safety report on Lesotho in 2015 noted that criminal behaviour within the land-locked country were starting to mimic that of the surrounding South Africa.

Endemic poverty and widespread unemployment continued to contribute to an increase in criminal activity, which the report labeled as at “critical” levels.

“Criminals are generally well-armed and are not averse to using violence in order to achieve their objective, especially when they encounter any type of resistance from a would-be victim,” the report said.

“Crimes committed at knifepoint have increased and are the most common force used; however, crimes committed at gunpoint are becoming more common as well.”

Guns are smuggled in from South Africa, the report said.

These are the 16 most violent countries in the world

# Country Homicide rate (per 100,000 people)
1 Hondurus 103.9
2 Venezuela 57.6
3 Jamaica 45.1
4 Belize 44.7
5 El Salvador 43.9
5 Colombia 43.9
7 Guatemala 39.9
8 Lesotho 37.5
9 South Africa 35.7
10 Trinidad and Tobago 35.3
11 Brazil 32.4
12 Bahamas 32.1
13 Haiti 26.6
14 Dominican Republic 25.4
15 Mexico 22.0
16 Guyana 20.2

South Africa’s crime problems are well known and well documented, with the SAPS tracking of all reported violent crimes in the country.

A report compiled by the Mexican Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice in January 2017, found that four South African cities had cracked the list of the 50 most violent places in the world.

Cape Town is South Africa’s most violent city, with 65.53 murders per 100,000 people – the 9th most violent city in the world.

Durban is the second most violent city in the country, with 35.93 murders per 100,000 people, followed by Nelson Mandela Bay (35.85 per 100,000 people) and Johannesburg (30.31 per 100,000 people).

Cape Town’s high murder rate is tied to gang violence which is endemic in many of the city’s poorer regions.