Tsotsi grew up on the streets of Johannesburg's shantytowns, making his home in abandoned drainpipes on the edge of these sprawling ghettos. Having lost his parents to AIDS at the age of nine he has no memory of his early family life. Tsotsi is the leader of a small gang, which is comprised of Die Aap, Boston and Butcher. He appears to have no moral or ethical problem with inflicting violence on anyone who stands in his way, and only tolerates his crew as long as they continue to serve his purpose.
Is much smarter than his companions. Unlike the other members of Tsotsi's gang, Boston is filled with an immense self-loathing and a hatred of violence. When drunk, Boston cannot control his tongue and constantly talks down to those he thinks are less intelligent than him.
Has been Tsotsi's loyal follower since childhood. He is big, strong and stupid but is happy to do as Tsotsi orders.
Is the most bloodthirsty of Tsotsi's gang and thrives on inflicting pain upon others. Butcher has never known a moment of love in his whole life and is probably beyond redemption.
Is an attractive young single mother. She has recently lost her husband, who was murdered on his way home from work. Despite her pain, she maintains her dignity and runs a small sewing business to support herself and her infant.
Is the smooth leader of a car-jacking syndicate.
Lost his legs in an accident while working down a mine. He is filled with anger and bitterness. Morris is forced to beg for money at the station but verbally attacks anyone who dares show him pity.
Is a successful corporate executive married to Pumla. He is the father of the baby stolen by Tsotsi.
Is the victim of Tsotsi's car jacking. Her money and intelligence do not prevent her baby being stolen.
Is the dryly funny officer hunting for Tsotsi.
Is the more serious partner of Officer Smit.