• Teenagers and alcohol don’t mix. What are parents’ responsibilities to ensure that their children don’t abuse alcohol? We give a variety of tips in our Community Safety feature in the June 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • Tennis star Bob Hewitt found guilty 30 years after committing sexual abuse against those he coached. Read the details about what had happened in the Crime Series published in the June 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • Sexting – the exchange of sexual messages or images – is a reality in schools. Teachers and learners are perpetrators and it is important to know about the dangers. Read our article in the June 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • Teenage alcohol abuse combined with sexting can have devastating & deadly consequences. Parents need to get involved to prevent their children from becoming victims. Read our article in the June 2017 issue of Servamus.

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- Ensuring that justice is served across borders

Compiled by Annalise Kempen

Have you ever thought that South African investigative standards or investigators are not on par with international standards? Think again. An operation entitled Scams R Us is an excellent example of how the South African authorities have contributed to justice being served across borders.


The modus operandi

In September 2011, a female victim located in the United States of America informed US investigators that a person with whom she communicated through an online dating service had requested that she repackage and ship two cellphones to an address in Pretoria, South Africa, using labels that this person provided to her. The initial investigation revealed that the cellphones were purchased using the stolen personal and credit card information of an American citizen who (obviously) did not authorise the use of this information. 

A US undercover agent then took over the identity of the female victim in order to communicate with the subject online. This contact led to communications with other persons who were knowingly participating in a scheme to defraud others through the use of counterfeit and illegally obtained cheques, and that two such cheques had been mailed to potential victims. The Internet Protocol (IP) address for the e-mail that was used by the target of the investigation revealed that it was being done from Pretoria.

A further investigation was launched and as a result of the execution of a series of search warrants, investigators obtained e-mail contents from approximately 360 e-mail accounts that were used in the fraud schemes. The majority of the IP addresses of the e-mail accounts reflected locations in Pretoria. Analysis of the contents of more than a million e-mails provided evidence of several online fraud schemes, including reshipping of fraudulently purchased merchandise; account takeovers of credit card accounts; counterfeit and/or unauthorised cheque scams; account takeovers of retirement and other accounts; and laundering of illicit proceeds through layers of pre-paid credit cards. The e-mails also revealed the purchase and/or use by the defendants of personal identification information of hundreds of people who were living in the USA, including multiple banks and victims located in the southern District of Mississippi. This information was used to open accounts and fraudulently take over bank and credit card accounts.

The fraudsters used illegally obtained lists of e-mail addresses to send hundreds of prescripted e-mails solicitating unwitting individuals into scams, ranging from romance scams and work-at-home scams to secret shopper scams. These unwitting individuals then facilitated the transfer of funds from various accounts takeovers to the fraudsters by using Western Union and Money Grams and even through prepaid credit cards. In doing this, these individuals, often unintentionally, became money mules or e-mules since they had partaken in laundering the proceeds of crime. Money mules/e-mules, just like fraudsters, are guilty of illegally transporting fraudulently gained money which is the reason why they could be prosecuted.5

However, that was not where the fraud stopped - these money/e-mules were also used to repackage and ship fraudulently purchased cellphones, computers, televisions and other electronics by using fraudulently obtained shipping labels from the US Postal Services, Federal Express, United Parcel Services and DHL. The fraudsters also advertised many of the electronic items for sale on Gumtree (an online classified South African website). 


The South African authorities become involved

In July 2013, members of the Electronic Crime Unit (ECU) of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) (the Hawks) started a project-driven investigation into the activities of the suspects. The project concluded with the take-down operation during May 2014 with the simultaneous search, seizure and arrest operations in Canada of two suspects; in the USA of four suspects and in South Africa of 11 suspects. This eventually led to the successful extradition of some of the suspects in July 2015 (see infra). The South African government received an official request from the US Department of Justice in May 2014, asking for its assistance in obtaining evidence for use in the criminal investigation and related criminal proceedings.

The request was premised on the Treaty between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of South Africa on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, which was signed in Washington on 16 September 1999.


[This is only an extract of an article that was published in the April 2017 issue of Servamus. The rest of the article discusses the perpetrators; the offences they were charged with and the extent of their crimes; the extradition process; the experience gained and lessons learnt from this project. Please contact our offices at tel: (012) 345 4622/60 or send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to enquiry how to obtain the rest of the article.]

Servamus - June 2017

In April 2013, a 17-year-old girl named Rehtaeh Parsons, was removed from life support and subsequently died.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
"Can you crawl through my window? I will do whatever you want. I want it to be first-class. First-class hotel, champagne and good sex."
By Kotie Geldenhuys
It is night-time in the city. Flashing neon lights and soft streetlamps create shadowy images across the pavement.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
In May 2017, the story broke that a young 22-year-old water polo teacher at Parktown Boys High had been accused of sexually grooming and assaulting more than 20 schoolboys, aged between 15 and 16 years, at this top school in Johannesburg.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - Jun 2017

Read More - Gareth Prince, Jonathan David Rubin, Jeremy David Acton and Others v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) and Others, unreported case no 8760/2013 dated 31 March 2017, Western Cape High Court (WCC)
This is the much-publicised case regarding an application by the three applicants supra, before a full bench of three judges of the High Court in Cape Town ("the court"), for a declaration that certain legislative provisions that prohibit the use, possession, purchase and cultivation for personal or communal consumption of cannabis (also referred to as "dagga" and/or "marijuana"), are invalid.
Read More - S V [Bob] Hewitt 2017 (1) SACR 309 (SCA)
This is the much-publicised case of the retired, world-renowned champion tennis player and instructor/coach, Bob Hewitt, who was convicted by the High Court in Pretoria on two counts of rape* and one count of indecent assault*.
Read More – Burford v Minister of Police, unreported case no CA 128/2015 dated 10 November 2015 (ECG)
Background Section 50 (1)(a),(b),(c) and (d)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows:

Letters - Jun 2017

I am a retired member of the SAPS and I collect all kinds of SAPS memorabilia from the inception of the South African Police in 1913 right to the present.
I am a retired member of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and I would like to purchase a blue leather uniform jacket as worn by SAPS members.
On 21 April 2017, police colleagues of D/W/O Petrus Oelofse attended his farewell function, which was hosted by the Jeffreys Bay Stock Theft Unit.
June 2017 Magazine Cover

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The publication’s strategic business goals are to establish greater involvement and effective communication between the different role-players within the broader policing environment, publish a magazine which is aimed at satisfying/addressing the needs of the subscribers and broader community and to strive towards excellent journalism.