• Although our paths regularly cross with those of homeless people, we seldom think about them as potential vulnerable victims of serious crime. Read more about the in-depth article about how they are affected from p 44 in Servamus: February 2018.

    Although our paths regularly cross with those of homeless people, we seldom think about them as potential vulnerable victims of serious crime. Read more about the in-depth article about how they are affected from p 44 in Servamus: February 2018.

  • Ever thought about the fact that those who are falsely accused of crime are also victims? We explore the impact of these false allegations on these victims and look at the trauma of serving time when you are innocent in an article published from p 28 in Servamus: February 2018.

    Ever thought about the fact that those who are falsely accused of crime are also victims? We explore the impact of these false allegations on these victims and look at the trauma of serving time when you are innocent in an article published from p 28 in Servamus: February 2018.

  • Members of Flying Squads often arrive first at crime scenes to confront dangerous criminals. This month we pay tribute to the hardworking heroes of the Johannesburg Flying Squad and introduce their commander. Refer to the article from p 50 in Servamus: February 2018.

    Members of Flying Squads often arrive first at crime scenes to confront dangerous criminals. This month we pay tribute to the hardworking heroes of the Johannesburg Flying Squad and introduce their commander. Refer to the article from p 50 in Servamus: February 2018.

  • Many victims of crime choose not to report the incident to the police. We explore the reasons why; find out whether it is a situation unique to South Africa and look at the consequence of non-reporting of crime in an article published from p 10 in Servamus: February 2018.

    Many victims of crime choose not to report the incident to the police. We explore the reasons why; find out whether it is a situation unique to South Africa and look at the consequence of non-reporting of crime in an article published from p 10 in Servamus: February 2018.

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- “We need to sing a different song” - urgently!
By Annalise Kempen

Selected photos by Ihsaan Haffejee and Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp

There is no positive light in which to paint the latest crime statistics released by the Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, on 24 October 2017. Even if we look at the crime categories which indicate a decrease, the overall crime picture remains bleak and it is cause for serious concern. Also when one looks at the scenario that is written about in the National Development Plan, namely that "in 2030 people living in South Africa (will) feel safe and have no fear of crime," and "They are safe at home, at school, at work and they enjoy an active community life free of fear", one cannot help but wonder whether the government realises that we only have a bit more than ten years left to achieve this vision. It doesn't seem so ...

The victims
Two of the 2.1 million victims of serious crime whose stories we might have read about between 1 April 2016 on 31 March 2017 (the report year) were Thabani Ngwekazi, a 28-year-old qualified medic and student, and his unnamed 21-year-old friend who was raped. Thabani was killed on 14 August 2016 shortly after he and his friend, a fellow student, were hijacked and kidnapped outside the Varsity Park student residences in North End, Port Elizabeth at around 21:30. Thabani, who hails from Mthatha and was a single father, was shot dead and his body was recovered the following day from the sea at Brighton Beach. His 21-year-old friend was raped, but eventually freed. Shockingly, two teenagers aged 17 and 18 were among the five man gang arrested for perpetrating these violent crimes.

Thabani is one of the 19 016 people who were murdered between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017. He was one of an average of 52 people who lost their lives each day due to criminal activities. His 21-year-old friend was also one of 39 848 victims of rape, and together they were included in the 16 717 hijacking cases of the report year. And all of this happened while Thabani and his friend did nothing out of the ordinary - they were two typical young people who went out that fateful evening as they were free to do. They did what many South Africans do daily and are supposed to be able to do without having to fear that they will become part of the crime statistics. Sadly, Thabani and his friend were not as lucky as the rest of us.

What do the crime statistics tell us?
Murder and the subsequent #BlackMonday
By now we know that murder has hit a ten year high, and that the latest increase of 1.8% should not be used as an indicator to tell us that "it is not that bad". What we should see is that, given the 15 554 murders committed during the 2011/2012 report year, the increase to 19 016 murders during the last financial year is shocking, and it makes sense for the nation to react.

On 30 October 2017, #BlackMonday hit the streets of South Africa resulting in a few thousand people protesting about crime and specifically about farm murders. This event was initiated after a farmer from the Boland area requested via social media that his friends wear black on that Monday to commemorate the loss of farmers' lives as a result of our high crime rate, and following the murder of his friend and fellow farmer, Joubert Conradie from the Stellenbosch area. Joubert was murdered on the same day that the crime statistics were released, and the wearing of black was said to be a sign of respect not only for those who worked and lived on farms but also for those who had lost their lives due to violent crime.

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: December 2017. The rest of the article looks in more details at some of the crimes that showed a drastic increase, as well as some of the contributing factors to why crime has increased and the trends we are noticing. To enquire how to obtain the rest of the article, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (012) 345 4660.]

Servamus - February 2018

In high profile cases such as that of the Modimolle monster or Oscar Pistorius, the public heard, through the media, what impact the violent crime had on the victim and their families.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
People sleeping on sheets of cardboard under dirty old blankets on pavements or on dark park benches are a familiar sight when driving through the suburbs late at night.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
“You were wearing a low cut, short mini dress, what did you expect?” Those are often the first words a rape victim hears when she tells someone from whom she trusted to get support, after she was raped by a friend at a party.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
If you have been the victim of a property-related crime such as a housebreaking, stay in an urban area or have relatively easy access to a police station, chances are very good that you will report it to the police.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - February 2018

Read More - Solidarity [Trade Union] [on behalf of Sgt Armand] Gerber v SAPS and Others (C381/17) [2017] ZALCCT 36 (11 August 2017)*
This is a judgment of the Cape Town Labour Court which began when Sgt Gerber approached the court. Sgt Gerber suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of a traumatic event in the course of his duty as a member of the SAPS.
Towards the end of 2017, various news agencies reported a story about a female university student from the Eastern Cape who mistakenly received a payment of R14 million instead of R1400 from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
Read More - S V Byleveld 2017 (1) SACR 218 (NWM)
“252A. Authority to make use of traps and undercover operations and admissibility of evidence so obtained
Read More - S V Masoanganye and Others 2015 (2) SACR 577 (NWM)
Five accused persons were convicted and sentenced by a single judge before the High Court in Mahikeng in the North West Province on charges of theft, all in respect of amounts stolen from the Guardian Fund (Afrikaans: “Voogdyfonds”).
Read More - S V Ramoba 2017 (2) SACR353 (SCA)
The accused, who was 33 years of age at the time of sentencing before the regional court in Tzaneen in Limpopo, was convicted on 12 very serious charges whereupon he and his co-accused, were each sentenced to an effective term of 52 years’ incarceration.
These Regulations appear as Government Notice No R 1138, in Government Gazette No 41203 dated 27 October 2017 (“the ‘new’ Regulations”).

Letters - February 2018

A former police member, Lt-Col Mathews Leballo, has since his retirement not forsaken the needs of vulnerable groups.
The management and staff of Evaton SAPS got to celebrate Christmas on 20 December 2017 with Christmas Carols. The event was blessed by the Provincial Head Office Chaplain Rev Mudau.
A lot of crimes have been committed in 2017 and previously and some of these offenders are regretful of committing criminal acts.
Brig N G (Natty) Govender enlisted into the South African Police with the intention of becoming a motor technician.
According to an article published in the Sunday Times at the end of 2017, the SAPS has splashed out on what are believed the most expensive bulletproof vests in the world.
February 2018 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.