Jealousy Lead Cause Of ‘Passion Killings’

Tsholo Kgwalabatlhe
Tsholo Kgwalabatlhe

Murders motivated by jealousy often glorified as 'passion killing' remain the country’s nightmare. With women commonly victims of this violent crime, the police have urged them to be cautious of their partners’ insecurities.

For years, murder cases involving intimate partners, especially boyfriends, girlfriends and ex-lovers have been the police’s major concern. One may wonder, what goes on in the mind of a man before committing such an offence? The Monitor interviewed a psychologist, Tsholo Kgwalabatlhe to establish what goes on in the mind of a killer and what motivates the killing. Kgwalabatlhe identified jealousy and anger amongst intimate partners as the major factors contributing to the rise in murder cases. “Most female murder victims die at the hands of a former or present lover, spouse or partner.

Most of the murder cases are committed by males against their female partners after she ends the relationship or announces her intention to do so, or in instances where cheating in the relationship is involved by either the female or even the male partner,” Kgwalabatlhe said. Kgwalabatlhe stated that many reasons can be given by the perpetrator as to why he did what he did.

However, there is no justification enough to kill someone. She added that the prevailing explanations offered are usually the murder stems from masculine possessiveness, which is the embodiment of the murderer’s personality, and sexual jealousy and anger. “Deep-rooted insecurities in the man which come from past unattended hurts, pains and disappointments are also a contributing factor and the murder is the climax of a history of violence that preceded it,” she said. Moreover, Kgwalabatlhe said passion killing is undoubtedly the most extreme manifestation of male violence. “It is not due to a single male quality, such as masculine possessiveness, and is not a 'natural' or 'inevitable' continuation of domestic violence.


It is a phenomenon that is separate from other forms of male violence. Moreover, we believe that in an important sense, these murders are committed 'out of love'. Love plays a role in these murders and with this in mind, it would help increase our understanding of this phenomenon (the rise of murder cases including intimate partners)," Kgwalabatlhe explains. She added that the said murder is not an unintended result of the violence that went too far as most of these murders are well planned.

Furthermore, Kgwalabatlhe said killing a female partner must not be understood in terms of loss of control or as a result of being insane. She stated that in most cases, it is rather a deliberate act that is the result of an emotional ripeness that created the mental readiness for murdering as an act of profound despair that is ready to destroy the other, even if this means destroying oneself. “As the major contributors, usually the man perceives the woman to be his whole world, so he feels that any separation from her entails a loss of his own identity.

This is something that his ego and mind can't comprehend and at times even thinking he has invested a lot in his female partner like paying her school fees, for instance. In some instances, murderers are the weaker partners, for example, when a woman is independent and the man lacked the control he wanted,” she said. Kgwalabatlhe called on men to do deeper, honest, genuine, authentic self-introspection of who they are without a female partner.

The police, being the investigators of these cases, disclosed to have observed that men’s jealousy tends to result in them focussing on the negatives, which usually leads to such killings. They warned that insecure men are prone to violence, calling on women to be cautious when dating men with such leanings and anxious behaviours.

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