• The reality of prisons for many inmates is far from hoping to be rehabilitated. Instead, the reality is one of trying to protect oneself from the violence perpetrated on the inside. Read our article about the shocking reality of prison violence in the August 2017 issue of Servamus.

    The reality of prisons for many inmates is far from hoping to be rehabilitated. Instead, the reality is one of trying to protect oneself from the violence perpetrated on the inside. Read our article about the shocking reality of prison violence in the August 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • Some people seem to choose a life of violent crime. We ask whether it is due to an antisocial personality disorder or genes or whether other factors are at play. Read this interesting article in the August 2017 issue of Servamus.

    Some people seem to choose a life of violent crime. We ask whether it is due to an antisocial personality disorder or genes or whether other factors are at play. Read this interesting article in the August 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • Commercial crime is often regarded as “not so serious”. We prove the opposite in an article featured in the August 2017 issue of Servamus by giving a South African perspective to this very serious crime and the impact it has on the community and economy.

    Commercial crime is often regarded as “not so serious”. We prove the opposite in an article featured in the August 2017 issue of Servamus by giving a South African perspective to this very serious crime and the impact it has on the community and economy.

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By Annalise Kempen

Some call it a new form of Apartheid ... some call it an excuse for criminality. Given the massive migration seen in the past decade throughout the world, and despite xenophobia not being unique to South Africa, it seems that it is a phenomenon that is extremely hard to tackle and get viable solutions for. It is a phenomenon where the dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries seems to increase with time.

It seems that every year or so, South Africa experiences an outbreak of xenophobia. Why it happens, often out of the blue, is a difficult question to answer. One of the latest incidents happened towards the end of February 2017, when scores of seemingly foreign-owned shops in Atteridgeville and Lotus Gardens were damaged and looted. Chances that every single one of the affected shops was being owned by foreigners, are highly unlikely.

Also in February 2017, four brothels were set alight by angry community members in Rosettenville, Johannesburg. The mayor of Johannesburg, Mr Herman Mashaba said in a statement at the time that according to community members, these homes were illegally occupied by Nigerian foreign nationals who run the homes as brothels and have girls as young as nine years old working as prostitutes. Many of the women in these brothels are also alleged to have no official identification documentation.

Apart from social issues such as promoting social decay through their brothels or making money from South Africans which locals seemingly have a problem with and which then result in violence against foreigners, we must try and find more reasons why this violence flares up out of nowhere.

 

Where and why did it all start?

South Africa experienced an increase in xenophobic attacks since the transition to democracy in 1994, including verbal and non-verbal abuse and the destruction of foreigners’ homes and businesses. While Apartheid was still in force, xenophobia was expressed through laws and policy which led to strict controls of anyone who was different (not white) (Kruger, 1969). When Apartheid came to an end, McKnight (2008) concludes that the hatred against foreigners was replacing the divide between white and black South Africans.

Shockingly, a South African Migration Project (SAMP) survey of 2001 showed that 21% of South Africans wanted a complete ban on the entry of foreigners, whilst 75% wanted strict limits on entry (Crush and Pendleton, 2004). Respondents in the survey were asked what, if anything, they had to fear about people from neighbouring countries, resulting in 48% noting that they felt that migrants were a criminal threat, compared to 37% who thought they were a threat to jobs and the economy and 29% who thought they were a health threat. The simplistic, and largely unsubstantiated, association of foreignness with criminality, job-stealing and disease is echoed in the rhetoric of the state and the media. Comments made by senior officials in those years added fuel to fire regarding the attitude towards foreigners. One such a person was Billy Masethla, the controversial Director-General of Home Affairs at the time, who made the extraordinary claim before the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs in March 2002, that “approximately 90% of foreign persons, who are in the RSA with fraudulent documents, ie either citizenship or migration documents, are involved in other crimes as well ... it is quicker to charge these criminals for their false documentation and then to deport them than to pursue the long route in respect of the other crimes that are committed,” he said. No wonder, ordinary citizens, in time, built up an intolerance towards foreigners.

 

Attacks become deadly

In May 2008, there was a culmination of feelings when attacks against foreigners became so violent that the police needed assistance from armed forces to quell the violence. At least 62 people lost their lives, 670 were injured, dozens were raped and approximately 100 000 were displaced during attacks that started in Alexandra, before spreading to the rest of Gauteng (Landau, 2009). Many of these victims were foreigners or South Africans who had married foreigners or even people from neighbouring provinces!

...............

[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: July 2017. The rest of this article looks at what the truth is in terms of statistics; the role of politicians and social media in inciting xenophobic violence and ultimately the consequences, solutions and government responses to xenophobia. Contact Servamus’s offices to request the rest of the 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 - August 2017

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.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Who will be the next National Commissioner of the SAPS? That is the question on many concerned South Africans' lips - especially those of police members, researchers and the SAPS's partners in the fight against crime.
By Annalise Kempen
Normal, healthy people seldom dream about death. They do not see crime scenes and dead people when they close their eyes.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
For a period of 11 years the serial rapist and murderer, Jimmy Maketta, terrorised communities in the Philippi area near Cape Town.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - August 2017

Read More - S v Parkins 2017 (1) SACR 235 (WCC)
Bradley Parkins (“the accused”) was convicted in the regional court sitting at Wynberg in the Cape Peninsula (“the trial court”) on the following six charges:
Read More - S v Mabitle 2017 (1) SACR 325 (NWM) and S v Monye and Another 2017 (1) SACR 329 (SCA)
In Ask Pollex in Servamus: August 2015, Pollex referred to a number of reported cases in respect of “contract killings”.
Read More In Servamus: June 2017, Pollex discussed the case of S v Hewitt 2017 (1) SACR 309 (SCA) (“the Hewitt case”). (The case involved the retired, world-renowned champion tennis player and instructor, Bob Hewitt.)
The Hewitt case was about three female complainants of whom two were raped and one was sexually assaulted (this offence was known as indecent assault at the time).
This month sees the last of our series of unlawful arrest and detention cases.

Letters - August 2017

Read More - An update (Servamus: December 2016
The telephone rings sharply in the charge office of Kliptown Police Station. The sergeant on duty looks up at the old clock hanging above the fireplace.
From 13 to 16 June 2017, members of the South African Police Service embarked on a trip to Mossel Bay for the Inter Provincial Soccer Championship, which was held at the D'Almeida sports ground.
Fathers’ Day was celebrated this year on 18 June, and I decided to run a special project under Social Crime Prevention for the fathers at Westville SAPS, with the wonderful support of some very gracious sponsors.
August 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.