AN UNKNOWN QUANTITY: Kidnapping for ransom in South Africa

  • Robyn Pharoah Institute for Security Studies
Keywords: crime, kidnapping, South Africa, ransom


The kidnapping and murder of both Leigh Mathews and Frances Rasuge in 2004, and the criminal trials of their respective killers, have heightened awareness and concern about kidnapping for ransom in South Africa. Several media articles have suggested an increase in the number of kidnappings, or at the very least that kidnapping for ransom is a significant problem that South Africans ignore at their peril. This article examines the evidence for such claims as well as issues that should lead to caution in describing kidnapping for ransom trends.

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