This is the URL for an article on Media24.com quoting psychology Professor Dap Louw from the University of the Free State in South Africa. Here's the beginning of what he said..... then go read the rest. It's appeared in most of today's Sunday media. It makes a great deal of sense...
"South Africa should not see itself as the 'criminal skunk' of the world because many other countries in transition had the same high crime prevalence.
"Dap Louw, a psychology professor at the University of the Free State, said South Africans should also not develop a 'learned helplessness syndrome' - characterised by powerlessness and incapability in the fight against crime.
Louw, also a renowned criminologist, said during a symposium in Bloemfontein on violent crimes: "A positive national self-image should be promoted to combat the cynicism, distrust and depression that disempower South Africans to actively take part in the fight against crime. We can do something about it instead of just talking about it around braais."
Louw said the crime situation in South Africa should be put in perspective because this was something the South African media 'clearly did not specialise in'. He went on to say, 'We lived in an abnormal society (apartheid), now we live in a normal society in a country in transition.' Louw said other transitional countries that had experienced the same crime situation as South Africa were Russia, Estonia, Cambodia and Poland. He said that other non-transitional countries like America, Wales, England and Australia had also reported 'concerns' of an increase in violent crime in 1996.