During the past couple of weeks, a number of police officials, including from the Hawks, were brutally gunned down. The murder of these dedicated police officials is a loss for each South Africa and we pay tribute to some of them in our article published from p 40-43 of Servamus: April 2020.
This short series of articles, published from pp 18-23 in Servamus: April 2020, explain the role of legal professionals, including advocates and attorneys; the role of the family advocate and the role of the sheriff.
Article and photos by Kotie Geldenhuys
Bonnievale is a quiet rural town, surrounded by fertile farmland and rolling hills. It is a close-knit community where people stand together to make things work. Yet on 13 May 2019 a tragedy played out in this community when Tool Wessels was brutally murdered, while his wife, Liezel was tortured for hours on their farm Kapteinsdrif. On that fateful night Liezel was home alone as Tool was driving the farm workers back to their homes in town. At approximately 18:30 four intruders attacked Liezel and when Tool returned, he was ambushed. While the intruders demanded cash, they poured boiling water over the couple whom they had tied up earlier, whereafter they stabbed Liezel in the chest with a sharp object. After the attackers had dragged Tool from the house, Liezel managed to free herself, got into her vehicle and drove off to find help. She found help at the Bonnievale Cellars but just after 23:00, one of Tool's farm workers found his body at a pump station in the vineyard. He had a single gunshot wound to the head and his hands were still tied behind his back. Within a day after this brutal farm attack, a 19-year-old man was arrested and one of the firearms stolen during the incident, a .22 rifle was found in his possession. The attack on the Wessels couple was the second farm murder in the valley in a period of five months. In December 2018, Piet and Elmien Steyn had been brutally killed on their farm Zandfontein, Bonnievale (Evans, 2019 and Bergh & Hendricks, 2019).
Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys
Livestock ownership is the backbone and a source of political and social influence to many rural communities throughout South Africa. They are valuable assets, providing an important source of wealth, food and income, social identity, recognition, pride and status, as well as a symbol of prosperity and prestige. Livestock, especially cattle, are not merely a source of food, they are also a form of social capital that is important for negotiations and social investment for many rural communities. Rural communities regard livestock as “living wealth” and these animals are often their only source of income and sustenance. Therefore, when livestock are stolen, it may be traumatic and threaten the economic lifeline of many rural farmers. Although the impact tends to be more severe to small-scale or subsistence farmers, they are not the only ones who suffer from stock theft. This crime also has a serious impact on commercial farmers and therefore on the red meat industry as a whole. Livestock are among the major sources of money for criminals who want to pursue their own selfish financial gain (Bunei, 2016 and Maluleke et al, 2016).
Article by Annalise Kempen
Photos by Sgt Belinda Kenmuir
It was a Saturday in January 1996 when nine-year-old Amber Hagerman was snatched off her bicycle in a parking lot of a shopping mall in Texas, in the United States. The only information available at the time was that a blue truck was seen leaving the scene. The question everyone asked was how they were going to find a child with such limited details. Patrol officers were "pulled off the beat" to form part of a special task team to find the missing girl - if they were not on another call, they were actively searching for the little girl. Despite the widespread media coverage which led to national attention that Amber was missing, the police could not find her. Sadly, five days after she had gone missing, a dog walker came across her body floating in a creek a few miles from the place where she had been snatched … her throat had been slit. And, to this day, Amber's case has not been solved (Barber, 2016).
- SAPS 7th National Excellence Awards
Compiled by Pelican Baloyi
Photos by Capt Ndanduleni Nyambeni, SAPS Publications
The National Excellence Awards is an annual event hosted by the South African Police Service to recognise and reward outstanding performance in the SAPS, including that of support staff, reservists and community police forums. Recipients displayed extraordinary excellence and commitment in the execution of their daily duties. One of the many members who won an award that night was, W/O Severiano Blundin, who was voted the Laurette winner.