• During the past couple of weeks, a number of police officials, including from the Hawks, were brutally gunned down. The murder of these dedicated police officials is a loss for each South Africa and we pay tribute to some of them in our article published from p 40-43 of Servamus: April 2020.

    During the past couple of weeks, a number of police officials, including from the Hawks, were brutally gunned down. The murder of these dedicated police officials is a loss for each South Africa and we pay tribute to some of them in our article published from p 40-43 of Servamus: April 2020.

  • This short series of articles, published from pp 18-23 in Servamus: April 2020, explain the role of legal professionals, including advocates and attorneys; the role of the family advocate and the role of the sheriff.

    This short series of articles, published from pp 18-23 in Servamus: April 2020, explain the role of legal professionals, including advocates and attorneys; the role of the family advocate and the role of the sheriff.

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- S V Phetoe 2018 (1) SACR 593 (SCA)

Mr Phetoe, the accused, was convicted and sentenced in the High Court in Johannesburg (“the trial court”) of, inter alia, eight counts of common law rape*. The accused was one of seven accused persons.

On appeal to a full bench of three judges of this same High Court in Johannesburg, the rape convictions were altered by the majority judgment to “guilty as an accomplice [Afrikaans: ‘medepligtige’] in respect of all the eight counts”.

On further appeal by the accused to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein (“the SCA”), the SCA reaffirmed the meaning of an “accomplice”. By firstly, referring to our Constitutional Court judgment in Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and Another v Masingili and Another 2014 (1) SACR 437 (CC) (see Pollex in Servamus: December 2014) where in paragraph [21] it stated that -

“An accomplice is someone whose actions do not satisfy all the requirements for criminal liability in the definition of an offence, but who nonetheless intentionally furthers the commission of a crime by someone else who does comply with all the requirements (the perpetrator). The intent required for accomplice liability is to further the specific crime committed by the perpetrator. Upon conviction, an accomplice may receive the same sentence as a perpetrator.” (Emphasis added by the Pollex.)

Secondly, the SCA referred with approval to p266 of the learned author Snyman’s Criminal Law, sixth edition where he describes the position as follows:

“Accomplice liability may be defined as follows:
A person is guilty of a crime as an accomplice if, although he does not satisfy all the requirements for liability contained in the definition of the crime and although the conduct required for a conviction is not imputed to him by virtue of the principles relating to common purpose, he unlawfully and intentionally engages in conduct whereby he furthers the commission of a crime by somebody else.

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[This is only an extract of this legal discussion that is published in Servamus: March 2020. If you are interested in reading the rest of the discussion, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact us at tel: (012) 345 4660/22 to find out how.]

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Servamus - April 2020

South Africa needs to assemble its best resources to fight the scourge of corruption, fraud and organised crime.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
There are times when we celebrate the sentences handed down to offenders for the crimes they committed.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
South Africans often grapple with terminology in the legal and judicial space as some have differing international applications and the public tend to believe the version they see on television.
By Annalise Kempen
On the first day of Autumn 2020 and during the writing of this article, eight-year-old Tazne van Wyk, was laid to rest.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - April 2020

It is no secret that Pollex is a supporter of the “death sentence” being reinstated in the legal system of the RSA, in respect of certain specified, convicted offenders.
During February 2020, Tazne van Wyk, an eight-year-old girl from Elsies River in the Cape, went missing.

Letters - April 2020

On Monday 9 March 2020, D/Sgt Mokowe, Const Kwatise and Const Mataa reacted to a complaint at one of the bank branches in Swartruggens.
On 12 September 2019, the South African Democratic Teacher’s Union (SADTU) held a Branch Teachers’ day at the multi-purpose centre in Middledrift.
April 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.