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Author(s) Pretorius, Ronelle
Year 1990
Title Family Murder in the Republic of South Africa: A Case of Misguided Family Rights and Responsibilities?
Published in Viano, Emilio C. (ed.): The Victimology Handbook - Research Findings, Treatment and Public Policy; Garland Publishing, Inc., New York.
ISBN 9780824040314
Pages 95–105
Abstract "Family murder," as used in this study, refers to one spouse killing the other and some or all of the children, followed immediately by the killer's suicide. Although such incidents were unknown or very rare in South Africa prior to 1983, since then a number of such murder-suicides have occurred among the Afrikaans-speaking white population. This study argues that war on the country's border, urban terrorism, political unrest, disinvestment, unemployment (which has affected whites seriously since 1980), and the threat of black majority rule and socialism/communism has brought despair to many whites. The fact that the "family murders" were not apparently committed out of rage suggests they resulted from measured decisions by the killers. The study postulates the killings resulted from the killers' culturally conditioned misguided sense of duty as family heads, acting on a rescue fantasy.
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