Call to highlight hate crimes
South Africa needs special legislation for hate crimes, a conference on crime in Sandton was told yesterday.
In hate crimes, victims are targeted on the basis of their race, nationality, gender or sexual orientation. The "corrective rape" of lesbians and xenophobic violence are among the hate crimes that are of most concern.
Juan Nel, the director of the centre for applied psychology at Unisa, said hate crimes were not recognised in South Africa.
"Unless they become a recognised crime category, they can't be recorded at police station level. Without it being recorded as such, it is very difficult to get a sense of what the prevalence would be."
The conference on crime is hosted by the Institute For Security Studies and is scheduled to end today.