• We are increasingly paying more attention to the damaging impact that environmental crime has on the environment and ecosystems, peace, security and development. Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 10 – 13.

    We are increasingly paying more attention to the damaging impact that environmental crime has on the environment and ecosystems, peace, security and development. Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 10 – 13.

  • Ever thought about the security risks associated with the illegal dumping of medical waste on dump sites in South Africa? We tell you more about prosecution and minimising the risk of cross-contamination. Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 34-35.

    Ever thought about the security risks associated with the illegal dumping of medical waste on dump sites in South Africa? We tell you more about prosecution and minimising the risk of cross-contamination. Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 34-35.

  • Did you know that there was a link between pollution and crime? We didn’t, until we researched the topic and found that exposure to toxic substances (including lead) was higher among violent criminals. Interesting! Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 31 – 33.

    Did you know that there was a link between pollution and crime? We didn’t, until we researched the topic and found that exposure to toxic substances (including lead) was higher among violent criminals. Interesting! Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 31 – 33.

  • Following a spate of criminal incidents around the OR Tambo International Airport, the Minister of Police unveiled the integrated multi-disciplinary tactical security plan for this national key point. Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 50-51.

    Following a spate of criminal incidents around the OR Tambo International Airport, the Minister of Police unveiled the integrated multi-disciplinary tactical security plan for this national key point. Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 50-51.

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Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys

Asanda Baninzi and Wox Mthuthuzeli Nombewu hijacked a sergeant based at the Langebaan Airforce Base and his girlfriend, then drove them to the Mawumawu area in Nyanga. Wox shot the man in his head as he lay face down on the road, while his terrified girlfriend was still sitting in the vehicle. They dumped his body before they took the woman to Zwelitsha, where both men raped her before they also shot her in the head. They dumped her body in the backyard of a Nyanga East house. Week after week, the Gugulethu community saw the burials of young people who had lost their lives in the mindless spiral of crime. The township was choking under this wave of murder, rape and execution-style killings and community meetings and memorial services became the norm. It seemed that as soon as one funeral was over, there was news of yet another murder.

Violence has become part of our daily lives and claims thousands of victims all over the world every year. People surely can't be born with violent tendencies, can they? And how do we make sense of what are seemingly senseless acts of aggression similar to what Vox and Asanda did? In this article we will try to find some answers as to why people turn to a life of violent crime.

There are many theories as to what makes a person violent. Some criminologists argue that one of the main reasons why people commit violent crime is because it is in their “nature” and that some people are psychologically predisposed to committing criminal acts. Seifert (2011) argues that there are numerous factors that determine behaviour and whether a person is at risk of developing violent tendencies. These factors include biological traits, family bonding, individual characteristics, intelligence and education, child development, peer relationships, cultural shaping and resilience. Gould (2016) agrees and notes that the combination of structural violence (for example, high levels of poverty and a lack of access to quality education) as well as exposure to physical violence, in the absence of warm, trusting relationships, is shown to cause complex trauma and lay the basis for violence. Substance abuse can also be added as a contributor to making some people more likely to commit crime (www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/z8mpmnb/revision/3). Perpetrators of violence are seldom considered victims. However, constant and repeated trauma, as a result of being victims of violence, witnessing traumatic events and indeed perpetrating violence, has serious, long-term consequences for these victims, their families and society. For people affected by trauma the effects may include insomnia, fatigue and anxiety, but it may also exacerbate substance abuse and lead to aggression and violence (Gould, 2016). It is clear that the majority of criminals committing violent crime is “made” and not born. Their subsequent behaviour is the result of many aspects that went wrong somewhere in their lives. This article’s focus will fall on family, social and environmental factors influencing violent and aggressive behaviour as well as the mental side of such behaviour.

The link between poverty, poor family relationships and violent behaviour
Poverty and poor family relationships often go hand in hand and are two factors that can increase the risk of someone developing violent tendencies. However, one cannot generalise and believe that every child who experiences these problems while growing up will become an aggressive adult who commits violent crimes.

Criminal psychologists have found that many perpetrators have experienced deprivation in childhood (www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/z8mpmnb/revision/3). Some children/young people who are living in extreme poverty will join gangs and adopt violence, not only to protect themselves from others, but also as a way to make a living amid scant economic opportunities. We cannot only blame poverty for influencing people to develop violent tendencies, because poorer countries than South Africa do not deal with the same levels of violence as we do.

Gould (2016) found that many perpetrators' families are often dysfunctional or broken and that throughout their lives, they continually encounter adults who reinforce their distrust of authority figures. Many studies have also highlighted that if a child is brought up in a family where there is "poor parenting", such as unsupervised children, parents not spending time with children, etc and/or where the parents have problems in their own lives due to alcohol dependency or a family break-up/divorce, then those children are far more likely to be involved in crime as they become older (www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/ z8mpmnb/revision/3).

Kotsi is an example of a child who grew up in poverty and in a family structure that was disrupted. Gould (2016) tells the story of how Kotsi's father left his mother for another woman when he was only four years old. The father was not involved in the children's lives and only sporadically contributed to the family's expenses, resulting in them struggling financially. Kotsi lived with his mother, his siblings, his cousins and his grandmother. Kotsi completed his first three years of school at a Zulu-speaking school, but had to change schools because of the riots during the mid-1980s. He resumed school at a Sesotho-speaking school closer to home. Kotsi loved school and did well on an academic level, performed on the sports field and even sang in the choir. The turning point in Kotsi's life came when he did not have the R30 required to register for high school. He asked his father, who was a bus driver, for the money but his father never gave it to him. To Kotsi this was the second time his father betrayed him - the first time by leaving the family to start another while his first family suffered financially and the second time by preventing Kotsi from continuing his education. This R30 was very important to Kotsi. He left school and started hanging out with older boys and men who were also not in school, and started off his life of crime with petty crimes such as shoplifting. Soon Kotsi progressed to robbery, housebreaking and stealing cars. By the age of 17 he was convicted for his first offence which was a brutal gang rape. At 18, Kotsi stole his first firearm from a man walking home from a night vigil. The firearm opened new criminal opportunities for him and he was able to hijack trucks delivering goods to the shops in the township. He became more and more violent and is currently serving a 105 year sentence for truck hijacking, attempted murder, murder and theft of a firearm.

The stories of Kotsi, Peter and Zibonele (which are told later on in the article), confirm the importance of children growing up in stable and engaging environments.

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: August 2017. The rest of this article looks at, among others, victims of bullying turning violent; substance abuse; child maltreatment and domestic violence; and we get a glimpse into the life stories of violent offenders. We ask whether people tend to get violent due to their genes or mental/antisocial personality disorders. Contact Servamus’s offices to request the rest of this interesting article by sending an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phoning (012) 345 4660/22.]

Servamus - September 2017

In June 2017, two Chinese nationals were removed from an Istanbul-bound plane just before take-off at OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Elephants are hunted for their ivory and rhinos for their horns. Pangolins, lions and leopards are killed for the muti trade.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
It is a hot, peaceful summer's day in Africa. A herd of elephants is peacefully feeding on small bushes and trees on one of the plains while the persistent and deafening drone of the cicadas pulses through the air.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
When we throw something into the garbage bin, we seldom think about its destination. All the discarded plastic bags, broken cellphones and televisions, used batteries and bulbs, glass bottles and old stoves contribute in some way to environmental pollution.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - September 2017

Read More - Director of Public Prosecutions, Western Cape v Parker 2015 (2) SACR 109 (SCA)
Step-in-Time Supermarket CC*, a registered Value-Added Tax (VAT) vendor (Afrikaans: “ondernemer”), and Mr Parker, its sole representative, were charged in the regional court in Bellville in the Cape Peninsula on a number of counts under the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 and the Value-Added Tax Act 89 of 1991 (the VAT Act) respectively.
Read More - S V Mandlozi 2015 (2) SACR 258 (FB)
Ms Lindiwe Mandlozi, also known as Leopoldina Maconze (hereinafter referred to as the accused), was convicted before the regional court in Kroonstad in the Free State (the trial court) of contravention of section 5(b) of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992, read together with certain specified provisions thereof.
Read More - S V Mukuyu 2017 (2) SACR 27 (GJ)
Section 51(2)(a)(i) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997 (“Act 105 of 1997”) provides as follows: “51. Discretionary minimum sentences for certain serious offences
In a publication unrelated to Servamus, Pollex recently remarked as follows as far as Act 60 of 2000 is concerned:

Letters - September 2017

Two former police officers, viz Capt Saravanan Govender and Raju Ellapen, were honoured, appreciated and recognised for the enormous contributions and life-changing experiences they imparted into the lives of thousands of Indian policemen and -women at both the Wentworth and Chatsworth Indian Police Colleges.
The SAPS does not always get a good rap so I would like to commend your members on the dealings we had with them.
The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) would like to express our gratitude to members of Ladysmith and QwaQwa SAPS for their assistance with a donkey case recently handled by the NSPCA.
On Saturday 15 July 2017, at around 19:00, I was off duty and took my family to pick up a few things from a café in Swartruggens near the N4, using my private vehicle.
I’m extremely thankful to W/O Van Graan and his two colleagues, W/O Bothma and Sgt Manus from K9 Breede River Worcester, for “saving my life” following an incident on 4 July 2017.
September 2017 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.