• It is impossible to understand how parents can physically abuse and neglect their own children, and yet it happens. We remind our readers about what child abuse entails in a comprehensive article published in Servamus: May 2020.

    It is impossible to understand how parents can physically abuse and neglect their own children, and yet it happens. We remind our readers about what child abuse entails in a comprehensive article published in Servamus: May 2020.

  • The Springs Monster case is probably one of the worst child abuse cases in recent years. We bring you the first part of this crime series in the May 2020 issue of Servamus. A shocking, must-read for all.

    The Springs Monster case is probably one of the worst child abuse cases in recent years. We bring you the first part of this crime series in the May 2020 issue of Servamus. A shocking, must-read for all.

  • Bullying and cyberbullying are realities for children across the world. We explain the details of both types in detail and what could be done to identify and prevent it. Be informed and read both articles in Servamus: May 2020

    Bullying and cyberbullying are realities for children across the world. We explain the details of both types in detail and what could be done to identify and prevent it. Be informed and read both articles in Servamus: May 2020

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During the 2019/2020 festive season, Pollex picked up the following in the media.

Bail to road traffic offenders
A person in authority was quoted as saying that road traffic-related offenders (especially drunken drivers and/or speedsters), should not be granted bail when arrested. Another issue that was raised in the media during January 2020 was when a speedster in Gauteng, who had allegedly clocked 308 km/h on a Gauteng highway, was released on (only) R1000 bail.

The current, legally correct position regarding this issue is, of course, that the granting of bail - as well as release on warning - is a right and not a privilege. Refer to section 35(1)(f) of our Constitution.

The issue of bail is, generally speaking, regulated by Chapter 9 (stretching from sections 58 to 70) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”). Again, generally speaking, the State or prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt why a specific accused person must not be released on bail.

However, in respect of offences referred to in Schedule 5 or 6 of the CPA, the onus (Afrikaans: “bewyslas”) is on an accused person to prove on a balance of probabilities (Afrikaans: “op ‘n oorwig van waarskynlikhede”) that he or she be released on bail. Note that no road traffic-related offences (excluding common law culpable homicide resulting from a motor vehicle accident which may, under certain specified circumstances, be such an offence) are referred to in Schedules 5 or 6 of the CPA. See the discussion entitled “Bail proceedings in respect of Schedule 5 and 6 of the CPA offences” published in Ask Pollex in Servamus: November 2018.

Arrest without a warrant of road traffic offenders
Another person in authority was quoted as having said that all road traffic-related offenders must be forthwith arrested. The current, legally correct, position regarding this issue is that in terms of section 40 of the CPA (which is the general “arrest without a warrant provision” by peace officers), and in terms of section 42 of the CPA (which is the general “arrest without a warrant provision” by private persons), the arrestor concerned has a discretion whether or not to arrest (in respect of any offence whatsoever) and that such arrestor must use his or her own discretion and not that of someone else (such as a superior and/or a person in authority and/or a complainant). Refer to Ralekwa v Minister for Safety and Security 2004 (1) SACR 131 (TPD) (see Pollex in Servamus: September 2004), and Jacobs v Minister of Police and Another (18371/2014) [2015] ZAGPPHC 803 (3 December 2015) (GP).

Use of force by the police
A third person in authority is quoted in the media as having said that the police must, so to speak, “answer or reply or counter force [Afrikaans: ‘geweld’] against them (the police), with force against the attacker and/or aggressor concerned”. To this quotation supra, Pollex adds the following: “… provided that where a [SAPS] member who performs official duty is authorised by law to use force, he or she may use only the minimum force which is reasonable in the circumstances. Refer to section 13(3)(b) of the South African Police Service Act 68 of 1995.”

Lesson(s) to be learnt: don't play for the crowd and/or the pavilion and/or the grand stand - play according to the law!

Abduction or kidnapping
Then there is the boy child that was allegedly snatched from a trolley in a shop within a shopping mall. According to the media, the alleged snatcher (suspect) was arrested on a charge of “abduction” (Afrikaans: “ontvoe-ring”). The latter offence (according to information at hand) should of course be “kidnapping” (Afrikaans: “menseroof”).

Lesson(s) to be learnt: use the legally correct words and/or expressions otherwise people will become confused.

Driving with your dog
There is the woman, driving around in her bakkie and apparently minding her own business, with her dog in or on the passenger seat of the bakkie and who is stopped by a traffic officer. The woman tells the officer that when she drives her bakkie, her dog is with her for her own safety (when necessary).

The traffic officer, however, issued the woman a “traffic ticket” (thankfully he did not arrest and detain her!) of which a copy - or part of it - is published in the media together with the relevant media item concerned. The ticket looks like either one issued in terms of section 341 of the CPA, or a J534 form issued in terms of section 56 of the CPA.

The “offence” on the ticket is a contravention of regulation 313(1) of the National Road Traffic Regulations, 2000, made under the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996, and the admission of guilt fine is stipulated as R1000.

The woman then paid the public prosecutor in Vanderbijlpark (where the incident took place), a visit who immediately cancelled the ticket.

A suggestion to our readers: Google the said regulation 313(1) to read what it is all about or, what it is not about!

Lesson(s) to be learnt: A “Draft National Road Traffic Law Enforcement Code” (which is, at the time of writing, not yet in operation) was published in Government Gazette No 37149 dated 10 January 2014.

In Chapter 7 - under the heading “Code of Ethics” - item NS 7.5 (p111 of the said Government Gazette) reads as follows:
“NS 7.5 DISCRETION

1. [Traffic] Officers must use the discretion vested in their positions responsibly and exercise it within the law.

2. In exercising discretion, a [traffic] officer must be guided by the principle of reasonableness and all surrounding circumstances must be utilised in determining whether any legal action must be taken.”

(Words in square brackets inserted by Pollex.)

Presidential remission of sentence
During December 2019, the President gave a (large) number of inmates a “special remission of sentence”. Pollex was asked by readers about three of these inmates, namely -

(1) The Aba Thembu King: to read what landed him in a correctional centre, refer to the verbatim (word for word) SCA judgment as reported as S v Dalindyebo 2016(1) SACR 329 (SCA);

(2) Ms Vicki Momberg: refer to the verbatim judgment of the Johannesburg High Court as reported as S v Momberg 2019 (2) SACR 505 (GJ); and

(3) Mr Kanya Cekeshe of “Fees Must Fall” fame: Pollex can find no verbatim court judgment on the Internet regarding his case.

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Servamus - May 2020

It was a difficult start to the 2020 school year. In Gauteng, several learners had died in various tragic accidents.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
When the news broke in January 2020 about a schoolboy who had drowned during a school orientation camp in North West, many parents were impacted by the fact that something similar could so easily happen to their own children.
By Annalise Kempen
It boggles one's mind when the innocence of a child meets the severity of a violent crime like murder.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Do you realise that bullying is a form of child abuse? It is so serious that the legislature specifically mentions it in the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 where “abuse”, in relation to a child, means any form of harm or ill-treatment deliberately inflicted on a child, and includes bullying by another child.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - May 2020

Read More - S V Garland 2019 (2) SACR 162 (WCC)
Mr Garland, the accused, is currently approximately 26 years old. On 24 June 2011, when he was 17 years old, he was apprehended in his mother’s residence in the town of Montagu*, for the unlawful possession of a small quantity of cannabis (dagga).
Read More - Msongelwa V Minister of Police (112/2012) [2020] ZAECMHC 10 (17 March 2020) (EMC)
The plaintiff (Afrikaans: “eiser”), Mr Nkululeko Msongelwa, was arrested on 7 August 2011 at a tavern in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, where he and his friends were enjoying themselves.
In recent years, South Africa has had its fair share of disasters (Afrikaans: “rampe”).

Letters - May 2020

My chains are gone I've been set free My God, my Saviour has ransomed me And like a flood, His mercy rains Unending love, Amazing Grace
Read More Maj-Gen Tertius Geldenhuys (7 May 1955 to 14 April 2020)
The South African Police Service mourns the tragic loss of Maj-Gen Tertius Geldenhuys who passed away on 14 April 2020.
Oom Piet Kleu, a 94-year-old former provincial road traffic inspector, invited by Daniel Seevaraj, a former police member who also became a prominent senior Pietermaritzburg road traffic inspector, graced our presence at our last meeting of retired police officers at Chistlehurst Academics and Arts.
Read More Huldeblyk - Jan Willem (Toffie) Jansen van Vuuren (6 Januarie 1952 - 18 Maart 2020)
”Dis die enigste manier om vooruit te gaan in die lewe - studeer, studeer, studeer … Studies gee vir mens kennis, en kennis is mag.”
May Magazine Cover

Servamus' Mission

Servamus is a community-based safety and security magazine for both members of the community as well as safety and security practitioners with the aim of increasing knowledge and sharing information, dedicated to improving their expertise, professionalism and service delivery standards. It promotes sound crime management practices, freedom of speech, education, training, information sharing and a networking platform.