Sean de la Rosa's Reviews > A Country at War with Itself: South Africa's Crisis of Crime

A Country at War with Itself by Antony Altbeker
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's review
Apr 17, 2011

really liked it
Read in December, 2013

An amazing little read - short and punchy! Altbeker tackles the difficult topic of crime in South Africa and provides insights into why crime in our country is so violent.

The author traces the root causes for violent crime back to when the first European landed in the Cape - it seems that the use of legislated force to keep the majority stultified has been with us for a very long time. Also, the delayed ending of apartheid and the fact that South Africans have become extremely demotivated by the failures of government to deliver on their democratic promises has increased the general sense of angst and unhappiness. It seems, South Africans are quick to jump to violence as an alternative if their needs are not met.

I like Altbekers closing reference to VS Naipauls term of a "half-baked" society to describe current South Africa. It seems the prognosis depends on our collective mindset in tackling the difficult social and security issues we face.

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