• 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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Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys

In his book The Choice - the Gayton McKenzie story, the controversial former gangster who eventually exposed corruption in the Grootvlei Correctional Centre, Gayton McKenzie, writes the following: “As a robber you’re always lying to yourself and saying, ‘this is my last one’. You think, I’ll invest the money, spend it frugally, but invariably once you have the money, something else comes along. Your friends describe the next job as a piece of cake … You never think this will be one too many, the one that will finally sink you, like a golf ball that’s been hit all over the course, but eventually reaches its hole. I have been arrested and faced the judge … 16 times…”

Crime is a huge problem and a nightmare for most societies in the world. It is no secret that South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world - and where there is a high crime rate, prison overcrowding is often a necessary consequence, as is the situation in our country. Many of those serving time in these overcrowded correctional facilities are reoffenders, and therefore it comes as no surprise that South Africa also suffers from one of the highest recidivism rates in the world.

Recidivism, which is the tendency to revert to crime upon release from prison, seems to be an uncontrollable phenomenon as inmates keep on reoffending, which impacts negatively on the already overcrowded correctional centres in South Africa. Recidivism has become a concern to the authorities in general, but it seems that the ways in which this problem is addressed are not a priority.


The extent of the problem

Makoni (2013) writes that it is estimated that 80% of criminals accommodated in South African correctional facilities are repeat offenders and a significant number of these are hardcore offenders. During a radio interview on RSG in February 2017, Prof Charl Cilliers from Unisa’s Department of Corrections, said that the figure of reoffending is around 90% and that individuals return to prison within a short period after their release. In 2010, the Minister of Correctional Services at the time, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, visited Pollsmoor where she met with 30 young girls aged between 16 and 20. The shocking finding that the Minister made was that approximately 90% of these young women were repeat offenders (www.sanews.gov.za/features/society-must-help-stop-repeat-offenders).

Although the following statistic is more than a decade old, it is interesting to see how big the problem already was in 2001, when Shabangu (2006) found that out of a total of 142 580 sentenced inmates:

  • 11 255 inmates had one previous conviction each;
  • 6229 inmates had two previous convictions each;
  • 4615 inmates had three previous convictions each;
  • 3639 inmates had four previous convictions each;
  • 2840 inmates had five previous convictions each;
  • 2471 inmates had six previous convictions each;
  • 2053 inmates had seven previous convictions each;
  • 1756 inmates had eight previous convictions each;
  • 1560 inmates had nine previous convictions each;
  • 1328 inmates had ten previous convictions each; and
  • 1066 inmates had 11 previous convictions each.

The researcher concluded by noting that four inmates had 37 previous convictions each and that three inmates had 38 previous convictions each.


Department of Correctional Services’ responsibility

In terms of section 36 of the Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998, the purpose of imprisonment, after having due regard to the fact that the deprivation of liberty serves the purposes of punishment, is to enable the sentenced prisoner to lead a socially responsible and crime-free life in future. This Act sets out three objectives, namely to:

  • enforce the sentences imposed by the courts;
  • detain all inmates in safe custody whilst ensuring their human dignity; and
  • promote the social responsibility and human development of all inmates and persons subject to community corrections.


[This is only an extract of an article that was published in the April 2017 issue of Servamus. The rest of the article continues with a definition and trends of recidivism as well as some of the reasons for reoffending; the importance of teaching offenders skills and we ask whether rehabilitation is a reality. 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.