• 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

Photo by Kotie Geldenhuys

There is no doubt that the successful prosecution of an accused person depends not only strongly on evidence, but also on a good working relationship between the investigating officer and the prosecutor, which will contribute to building a strong case. If an investigator has the confidence to liaise regularly with the prosecutor during the investigation process, the chances of addressing any issues before the case goes to court improve significantly.

When a crime is committed, the police must determine who was responsible so that the criminal can be prosecuted and brought to justice. The investigation process begins the moment when a crime is reported and only ends after a suspect has been convicted or discharged by a court of law. The successful completion of this process is a mammoth task which requires cooperation between various role-players, such as investigating officers and prosecutors.

The cornerstone of the criminal justice system rests on the relationship between investigating officers, courts and prosecutors of the National Prosecution Authority (NPA). This relationship is vital to ensuring that critical information regarding the investigation is timeously communicated between the various role-players in the investigation process. The mutual respect between these role-players fosters communication and assists in the trial and pre-trial processes. In addition, investigating officers and prosecutors are the most visible members of any criminal investigation team (Becker and Dutelle, 2013).

Investigating officers have one of the most important roles to play in the prosecution process, but sometimes they do not fulfil their responsibilities. Nkashe (2015) found that, occasionally, the prosecution part of the process is kept apart from the investigation part, in order for prosecutors to be able to assess the adequacy of evidence dispassionately and objectively. This separation of roles means that investigating officers do not consult with prosecutors and/or are not available to discuss important issues regarding any case. Becker and Dutelle (2013) stress that this becomes problematic, since investigators need to be able to work as team players with prosecutors and need to be able to communicate and testify objectively and professionally.

 

The prosecutor

The prosecutor is an appointed or elected member of the practising bar who is responsible for bringing the State's case against the accused. The prosecutor's primary function is to assist the court in arriving at a fair verdict. It is vital that s/he must act impartially and in good faith. 

According to Bugliosi (2000), a prosecutor must have certain characteristics to be able to master the art of prosecution, which include the following:

  • credibility - the most important attribute of a good prosecutor;
  • self-sufficiency - including the ability to manage stress and pressure in an extremely stressful environment; 
  • intelligence;
  • diligence; and
  • the ability to convict.

 

The NPA derives its mandate from section 179 of the Constitution of South Africa, 1996. Section 179(2) empowers the prosecuting authority to institute criminal proceedings on behalf of the State and to carry out any necessary function incidental to instituting criminal proceedings (NPA, 2011). According to the NPA’s Prosecuting Policy (2013), the prosecutor has the discretion to make decisions that affect the criminal justice process. This discretion can be exercised at specific stages of the process and includes making the following decisions:

  • whether or not to institute criminal proceedings against an accused;
  • whether or not to withdraw charges or stop a prosecution;
  • whether or not to oppose an application for bail or release of an accused who is in custody following arrest;
  • the crimes with which to charge an accused and the court in which the trial should proceed;
  • whether or not to accept a plea of guilt tendered by an accused;
  • which evidence to present during the trial;..

 

[This is only an extract from an article published in Servamus: March 2017. The rest of the article discusses the importance for these two parties to work as a team, but it also clarifies the different parties’ roles during the different processes, ie the prosecutor’s role during the investigation process, and vice versa. This article reiterates the importance of why these two parties have to work together like a well-oiled machine to ensure conviction. To enquire about obtaining the rest of the article, contact Servamus’s offices at tel: (012) 345 4660/41 or send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Ed.]

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

Servamus' Mission

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.