'Children don't just wake up today and say I'm going to commit a murder'

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has made a shocking revelation that 736 of the 21 022 murders recorded over the last financial year were committed by children.

Nyanga emerges as the murder capital of the country, according to the 2018/19 crime statistics which reveal 298 murders were reported during that period.

The murder rate has gone up by 3.4% between April last year and March this year. Sexual offences have increased by 4.4%.

Refilwe Moloto speaks to Centre for Child Law project coordinator for research and advocacy Zita Hansungule about what causes children to commit these crimes.

She says the first question to explore is why children are committing these crimes.

RELATED: Police commissioner outlines action plan to fight grim crime stats

RELATED: 'Emasculation' of men contributes to SA's high murder rate

We need to look deeper and ask what is happening in children's lives. Children don't just wake up today and say I'm going to commit a murder.

Zita Hansungule, Project Coordinator for Research and Advocacy - Centre for Child Law

Children's environment and upbringing is key.

What we expose children to is going to determine how they grow up.

Zita Hansungule, Project Coordinator for Research and Advocacy - Centre for Child Law

Justice Cameron said people must not give up on children, adds Hansungule, referring to one of his court judgements.

Children still have the ability to be rehabilitated and reintegrated.

Zita Hansungule, Project Coordinator for Research and Advocacy - Centre for Child Law

Listen to the full interview below...


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'Children don't just wake up today and say I'm going to commit a murder'


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