• Servamus interviewed a few former police members to find out about their “lives after the police” and a community member who joins the fight against crime – especially environmental crime. Read their stories from pp 20-26 in Servamus: November 2017.

    Servamus interviewed a few former police members to find out about their “lives after the police” and a community member who joins the fight against crime – especially environmental crime. Read their stories from pp 20-26 in Servamus: November 2017.

  • With the latest crime statistics being released at the end of October, it sketches a less positive picture. We look at alternative ways in which citizens choose to protect themselves. Read the article from pp 14-19 in Servamus: November 2017.

    With the latest crime statistics being released at the end of October, it sketches a less positive picture. We look at alternative ways in which citizens choose to protect themselves. Read the article from pp 14-19 in Servamus: November 2017.

  • It is always a privilege to participate in awards ceremonies where excellent police work is recognised. Thanks to Trackers individual police members and units have been awarded for their fight against vehicle crime for the 18th time! Read the article from pp 46-49 in Servamus: November 2017.

    It is always a privilege to participate in awards ceremonies where excellent police work is recognised. Thanks to Trackers individual police members and units have been awarded for their fight against vehicle crime for the 18th time! Read the article from pp 46-49 in Servamus: November 2017.

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By Annalise Kempen

During the first weekend of October 2017, there was a huge outcry on social media following the spreading of a video showing an incident at a supermarket in Gauteng where security officers assaulted a woman while her crying three-year-old toddler bore witness to her mother's ordeal. There is a similar outcry each time a member of the South African Police Service crosses the line, such as after the Marikana massacre; the Andries Tatane incident and the Mido Macia incident. The question is: is it only incidents that make headlines or cause a social media outcry that result in investigations from the "big guns"? Or is there a way in which we, as members of the community, can get involved when our "law enforcers" cross the line or don't deliver the service they are supposed to?

Background to oversight
Oversight of the police is not a new phenomenon and, according to the Gauteng Department of Community Safety, it can be traced back at least to 1992 when "a convocation of the governing party resolved that 'there will be no respect for institutions that enforce law and order unless the people respect the law. This they will do if the laws are just and if they participate both in their making and enforcement'" (GDCS, 2017).

Section 221 of the Interim Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 200 of 1993 provides for the establishment of community police forums in respect of police stations. Although the South African Police Service Act 68 of 1995 was promulgated after the Interim Constitution, it provides for the functions of community police forums and boards in section 22 and refers to section 221(2) of the Interim Constitution which reads as follows (and remains valid):

“(2) The functions of community police forums referred to in subsection (1) may include -

(a) the promotion of accountability of the Service to local communities and cooperation of communities with the Service;

(b) the monitoring of the effectiveness and efficiency of the Service;

(c) advising the Service regarding local policing priorities;

(d) the evaluation of the provision of visible police services, including -

(i) the provision, siting and staffing of police stations;

(ii) the reception and processing of complaints and charges;

(iii) the provision of protective services at gatherings;

(iv) the patrolling of residential and business areas; and

(v) the prosecution of offenders; and

(e) requesting enquiries into policing matters in the locality concerned.”

Section 206 of the (current) Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, provides that the institution that enforces law and order is subject to civilian oversight, and specifically provides provincial governments with a mandate to, among others:

  • monitor police conduct;
  • oversee the effectiveness and efficiency of the police service; and
  • promote good relations between the police and the community.

In line with this constitutional provision, the South African Police Service Act 68 of 1995 urges the relevant Member of the Executive Council to call on provincial commissioners of police to establish Community Police Forums (CPFs). In short, these bodies, comprising both civilians and SAPS members, are entrusted to execute key activities aimed at ensuring that people participate both in the identification of crime challenges at local level and the development of strategies to resolve these challenges. Pillar 3 of the National Crime Prevention Strategy, 1996, similarly advocates for meaningful participation of citizens in combating crime. The Civilian Secretariat for Police Act 2 of 2011 reveals the same policy consistency - section 17 of this Act advocates for, among others, the promotion of community police relations and enhancement of community safety structures within each province (GDCS, 2017).

In their publication entitled Handbook on police accountability, oversight and integrity, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC, 2011) makes it clear that "efforts to enhance police oversight and accountability must focus on three key, related priorities". Where policing has been militarised and where it tends to be undemocratic and authoritarian, efforts must be made to enhance civilian control over the police. The second priority is to increase public confidence in the police by upgrading levels of police service delivery as well as by investigating and acting in cases of police misconduct, while the last priority deals with reducing police corruption (UNODC, 2011).

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[This is only an extract of an article published on pp 10-13 in Servamus: November 2017. The rest of this article deals with the existing oversight structures and then it discusses the role of civilian oversight and give practical examples of how it can be done on station level – a must read for everyone involved in CPFs. Contact Servamus’s offices to request the rest of this interesting 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 - November 2017

Police members who are passionate about making a difference warm my heart.
By Annalise Kempen
Almost 200 years ago, in 1829, the world's first police force was created by Sir Robert Peel.
By Annalise Kempen
In October 2000, a police official was seriously injured when he foiled a bank robbery in the Bedfordview centre near Johannesburg after two men robbed the Standard Bank of a large amount of cash.
By Annalise Kempen
During the first weekend of October 2017, there was a huge outcry on social media following the spreading of a video showing an incident at a supermarket in Gauteng where security officers assaulted a woman while her crying three-year-old toddler bore witness to her mother's ordeal.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - November 2017

Section 165 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows:
Read More - S V Sebofi 2015 (2) SACR 179 (GJ)
Mr Sebofi (the accused) was convicted on two counts of rape by the regional court in Roodepoort (the trial court), and sentenced to life incarceration.
In the case of Jordaan and Others v City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality and Others [2017] ZACC 31 (CC), a full bench of 11 judges of our Constitutional Court unanimously declared that, on transfer of property, a new owner is NOT liable for debts (Afrikaans: "skuld") arising BEFORE transfer of the property under section 118(3) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000.
Read More - Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Gauteng v MG 2017 (2) SACR 132 (SCA)
Background Section 57(1) of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 provides as follows:
In Servamus: June 2015 Pollex briefly referred to two Draft White Papers* that had appeared on 3 March 2015 and on which the public were asked to comment.

Letters - November 2017

Recently, former officers of the SAPS from Pietermaritzburg were invited by officers from Durban to meet at the Japanese Gardens, Durban North, to get to know each other.
Police members from Napier Police Station were busy with crime prevention duties in Sarel Cilliers Street in Napier when a white Nissan Tida, driving at a high speed, passed them around 23:00 on 11 October 2017.
After nearly two years of devotion to a case of aggravated robbery, a Westville SAPS detective secured 15 yearsentences for two accused in a Pinetown court during the end of September 2017.
November 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.