• The SAPS held a special parade to welcome back Mr Bheki Cele as the Minister for Police. He had previously been the National Commissioner of the SAPS. Refer to article published on pp 44-45 of Servamus: April 2018.

    The SAPS held a special parade to welcome back Mr Bheki Cele as the Minister for Police. He had previously been the National Commissioner of the SAPS. Refer to article published on pp 44-45 of Servamus: April 2018.

  • The tragedy surrounding the murder of Jayde Panayiotou is discussed in this month’s crime series. Read about how Jayde’s murder was planned by her husband and the work done by the police investigators.

    The tragedy surrounding the murder of Jayde Panayiotou is discussed in this month’s crime series. Read about how Jayde’s murder was planned by her husband and the work done by the police investigators.

  • Following the Marikana tragedy in 2012, the Public Order Policing Units of the SAPS come under attack. A lot of work has been done ever since, including the launch of national reserve POP Units. We update you on the latest developments surrounding POP in Servamus: April 2018.

    Following the Marikana tragedy in 2012, the Public Order Policing Units of the SAPS come under attack. A lot of work has been done ever since, including the launch of national reserve POP Units. We update you on the latest developments surrounding POP in Servamus: April 2018.

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By Kotie Geldenhuys

When a disabled 52-year-old former soldier's wife died a couple of years ago, his 26-year-old brother-in-law moved into his house to take care of him. When the young man, let's call him John, wanted to go out, he simply locked up the former soldier, let's call him Pete, in his home, sometimes for long periods of time. In May 2016, John again went out, leaving Pete alone at home. On his return to the Coldrigde home in Vryburg, John found wheelchair-bound Pete eating his own faeces. John beat Pete with a sjambok until he died. At the time of his death, Pete had both old and new wounds as a result of being beaten over a period of time. According to neighbours, John had always hit the disabled Pete with a panga, hose pipe or sjambok because he said that he did not want Pete to dirty himself with his own faeces and drink his own urine. The matter was apparently once reported to the police but they only gave John a warning and no case was opened (Tshehle, 2016). This incident paints the grim picture of the abuse many people living with a disability face regularly.

Violence against people living with a disability is disturbing and affects people all over the world, no matter their race, age or sex. They are the voiceless and invisible members of society, who are often regarded as defenceless and unable to fight back. They are vulnerable to all sorts of abuse which is exacerbated by a criminal justice system which often fails them due to a general perception that people living with a disability cannot be regarded as reliable witnesses. Sadly, perpetrators take advantage of this situation as they know that a silent victim is the "best" victim.

According to the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP), the national disability prevalence rate in South Africa is 7.5%. Disability is more prevalent among females and it increases with age. More than half (53.2%) of people older than 85 years is reported to be living with a disability. Disability includes visual difficulties, cognitive difficulties (which refers to the ability to remember/ concentrate), hearing difficulties and self-care or walking difficulties. Persons with severe disabilities experience difficulty in accessing education and employment opportunities. Some people living with a mental disability can do little or nothing for themselves and are totally dependent on the care of others. One cannot help to think about the Life Esidimeni tragedy where at least 144 people died due to negligence and starvation after the Gauteng Health Department had moved these vulnerable patients from Life Esidimeni and other facilities, to various ill-equipped unlicensed NGOs.

People living with disabilities largely remain marginalised due to stereotyping, traditional beliefs and ignorance. The World Health Organisation (WHO) (2011) estimates that 10% of the world's population consists of people living with disabilities, with the majority of these people living in developing countries. Causes of disability range from accidents and violence to natural birth defects, but in developing countries, a lack of proper health facilities, inadequate treatment and the lack of knowledge exacerbate this problem (www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/report.pdf).

Vulnerable to abuse
Grainger (2016) notes that experts conservatively estimate that people living with disabilities are at least four times more likely to be victims of abuse and crime than people living without disabilities. People living with disabilities, like other marginalised groups, are particularly vulnerable to violence and abuse in the home or in public places. Bornman (2014) adds that children and adults living with disabilities, especially those with little or no functional speech (which often accompanies mental disability) have an increased risk.

Although violence against men living with disabilities has not been studied as extensively as that of women and children living with disabilities, it has been shown to be a serious problem. Powers et al (2009) argue that in one study involving physical abuse, the male to female victim ratio was found to be 56% to 44%. This United States-based study of 345 men living with physical or intellectual disability showed that 65% of the participants reported a lifetime of abuse, while 24% reported a lifetime of sexual abuse. Men living with disabilities share many similarities with women with disabilities regarding the type of abuse and the impact thereof, although gender-role expectation discourages men from acknowledging the abuse, as a stereotypic view exists that men cannot be abused (Powers et al, 2009).

International studies have estimated that more than 70% of women living with a wide variety of disabilities have been violently assaulted at some point in their lives (Farrar, 1995). Women living with disabilities, who are experiencing gender-based violence, receive inadequate support from the relevant support systems, as well as poor access to the criminal justice system (Centre for Disability, Law and Policy and the Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit, 2012).

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: April 2018. The rest of the article looks at the types of violence experienced by people living with disabilities as well as why people living with disabilities are abused. The perpetrator, legislation and the reporting of these crimes are also under the spotlight. To enquire how to obtain the rest of the article, contact Servamus’s offices at tel: (012) 345 4660/22 or send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

Servamus - April 2018

When a disabled 52-year-old former soldier's wife died a couple of years ago, his 26-year-old brother-in-law moved into his house to take care of him.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
For many consumers, short-term insurance is a grudge expense, until that day when they are involved in a vehicle accident or they return home from work or holiday to find that they have been the victim of a burglary and they need to register a claim with their insurer.
By Annalise Kempen
There are no words to describe the shock when a man cold-bloodedly murders his wife, seemingly without motive.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Many adults have fond memories of their grandparents - visiting them during holidays, being treated with sweets or sitting on their laps listening to numerous stories.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - April 2018

The word supra refers to "a person who eats human flesh". According to recent media reports, arrests have been made "for the crime of cannibalism" (Afrikaans: "kannibalisme") and that those persons will "appear in court on charges of cannibalism".
Read More - Per Mr Lucky Shange in a news item that appeared in News 24 dated 17 February 2018
According to the news item referred to supra, the 40-year-old Mr Lucky Shange was arrested in 1998.
According to all indications, South Africa has, or is heading for a water crisis. As far as the Cape Peninsula in the Western Cape is concerned, the crisis is already upon its inhabitants.

Letters - April 2018

The article “A walk down memory lane - Paying tribute to a dedicated war hero” that was published in Servamus: March 2018 on pp 76-77, refers.
Ever thought about the impact of parents’ jobs on their children? This poem, written by W/O Johan Coetzer’s daughter, Megan, says so much, especially when one realises that she was only 13 years old when she wrote it.
April 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.