South African Murders between 1990 to 2009 are in excess of 370,000 by the most conservative estimates.
The South African Police Services (SAPS) currently only make statistics available for 2003 to 2009, but this is not news, they had a moratorium on statistics shortly after the change of government in the early 90s. Despite this, if one is willing to dig around, some information can be dug up from the old SAPS statistics that used to exist previously, as well as the INTERPOL figures (now no longer available to the public, but the old figures at least until 2001 or 2002 can still be found).
References for where the figures comes from is at the end of this post, but a single place that has a good overall view, and lists all their references (from official bodies) is available here if you are interested in doing at least some of your own research.
By the MOST conservative official figures provided by the SAPS during this period the total number of murders is 377,465 for the 19 year period 1990 to 2009. This averages to just under 20,000 murders a year for every year (19,867).
But the SAPS figures are grossly under reported as evidenced by other official bodies of the South African Government, such as the Home Affairs Department and The Medical Research Council, which both record causes of death separately from the politically influenced SAPS. The real figures according to these bodies are roughly estimated to be between 30-55% higher.
Interpol puts the figures at sometimes up to 100% higher. The total number of murders in South Africa for the period 1990 to 2009 if using Interpol figures for 5 of the years (only available for the years 1995 to 1999 and then separately for 2001) and SAPS figures for the remaining 14 years come to a total of 528,791 murders for the period. An average of a bit less than 30,000 murders a year (27,831).
Let’s be conservative and take a middle road approach and put the total number of murders for the period at 453,128, the exact mid-point between these two figures, equating to 23,849 murders a year, EVERY YEAR, FOR 19 YEARS IN A ROW.
COMPARED TO A WAR ZONE
By contrast, the total number of deaths due to the Bosnian war, which lasted from march 1992 to November 1995 and included instances of ethnic cleansing, carpet bombing and mass graves, has wildly fluctuating estimates, but these range from as low as 25,000 to as high as 329,000. Both of these figures are obviously wrong. The best estimate as a result of population census in 2003 is under 150,000 (more like 105,000 or about 25,000 per year).
This includes deaths from all causes, including things like poor conditions, disease and wounding or exposure as indirect results of the war, so is not limited to pure casualties of direct violence.
So a war zone that lasted the better part of 4 years could only do something less than a quarter the death toll due to violent crime that the “peaceful and democratic” country of South Africa did in 19 years. In other words, a comparable figure of deaths in a war zone when YOU INCLUDE DEATHS FROM NON-DIRECT VIOLENCE IN THE WAR ZONE.
In other words, death by violent crime in South Africa outstrips death by direct military action (inclusive of civilians) in a war zone that included actions of ethnic cleansing (mass genocide) and carpet bombing. And has done so, year on year, for 19 years in a row. Why is this not discussed in the world media?
Now I ask you: Just how “peaceful” and “democratic” and “successful” do you think the new non-apartheid government has been for its people? Please keep in mind that the deaths are generally disproportionately slanted towards the non-white population by representation. In other words, the biggest number of victims are non-white and the biggest number of perpetrators are also non-white, both groups being over-represented for their representation as a race in the country.