• What is the difference between cybercrime; hi-tech crime; and computer-facilitated crime? Knowing what cybercrime entails can assist users to be more alert. Refer to the article published on p10 and p11 of Servamus: June 2020..

    What is the difference between cybercrime; hi-tech crime; and computer-facilitated crime? Knowing what cybercrime entails can assist users to be more alert. Refer to the article published on p10 and p11 of Servamus: June 2020..

  • Social media is not all about being connected – it comes with a lot of pressure about what you say or share and can even have a negative impact on your career. Refer to our articles about social media published on p21 and p28 of Servamus: June 2020.

    Social media is not all about being connected – it comes with a lot of pressure about what you say or share and can even have a negative impact on your career. Refer to our articles about social media published on p21 and p28 of Servamus: June 2020.

  • Do you know what hacking, money muling and supplier side scams entail? Learn more about these concepts to ensure that you are not these cybercriminals’ next victim. Refer to the articles published on p30; p32 and p38 of Servamus: June 2020.

    Do you know what hacking, money muling and supplier side scams entail? Learn more about these concepts to ensure that you are not these cybercriminals’ next victim. Refer to the articles published on p30; p32 and p38 of Servamus: June 2020.

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Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys

A man who was not considered to be a primary suspect in a murder case, sat at one end of the table, carefully crafting his answers to the FBI agent’s questions. Although he had a believable alibi, the agent pressed on with the questions nevertheless. With the suspect’s consent, he was asked a series of questions about the murder weapon:

“If you had committed this crime, would you have used a gun?”
“If you had committed this crime, would you have used a knife?”
“If you had committed this crime, would you have used an ice pick?”
“If you had committed this crime, would you have used a hammer?”

The information of the type of weapon which had actually been used in the commission of the crime, namely an ice pick, had been kept from the public and only the murderer would know about the real murder weapon. As the FBI agent read down the list of weapons, he carefully observed the suspect. When he mentioned the ice pick, the man’s eyelids came down hard and stayed down until the next weapon was named. The agent immediately understood the significance of the eyelid behaviour he had witnessed and from that moment onwards the “minor” suspect became the primary suspect. This man later confessed to the crime (Navarro and Karlins, 2008).

During any typical criminal investigation, the primary focus is normally on suspects’ verbal statements, rather than on how and what story their body is conveying while they are telling the story. Gardner (2018) argues that for all of the words a person says, there are thoughts and feelings which go unsaid. Although these unspoken thoughts and feelings fail to make their way through the vocal tract, there is another type of language which may betray those who want to keep their thoughts and feelings a secret: this non-verbal communication is also referred to as body language. As people are not always aware that they are communicating non-verbally, body language is often more honest than an individual’s verbal pronouncements, which are consciously crafted to accomplish the speaker’s objectives (Navarro and Karlins, 2008). The use of body language interpretation in criminal investigation can provide a useful foundation in determining the direction an investigation will take. A suspect may say all the right things and might not make a single slip of the tongue during an interview, but his/her body language will hint that they are trying to hide something (Gardner, 2018).

When an investigating officer interacts with suspects, both parties continuously give and receive non-verbal signals such as gestures, sitting, posture, eye contact, loud or low tone of voice and distance between individuals. All of these have meanings (Otu, 2015). Segal et al (2013) stress that everything a suspect does, such as the way they listen, react, look and move, might have a meaning to a law enforcement officer. Even if a suspect stops talking, it could still be a meaningful non-verbal communication to an investigating officer.

Forms of non-verbal communication
Navarro and Karlins (2008) inform us that non-verbal communication is a way of transmitting information, similar to the spoken word, except that it is achieved through facial expressions, gestures, touching (or haptics), physical movements (or kinesics), posture, body adornment (such as clothing, jewellery, hairstyle, tattoos) and even the tone, timbre and volume of an individual’s voice (rather than spoken content). Eye contact, space and distance, humour as well as silence can also be added to the list (https://iedunote.com/nonverbal communication).
Otu (2015) divides non-verbal communication into:

  • Semiotics which refers to the study of how signs relate to things. When a suspect crosses his/her arms, it may indicate resistance, protection of his/her space or defensiveness. Suspects who feel comfortable, safe and free will always sit in a relaxed, open manner, while suspects who feel hostile, aggressive or nervous will sit in a closed manner, with arms and legs crossed.
  • Proxemics which refers to the distance or space between the communicator and the receiver. Papa (2013) writes that if a law enforcement officer moves too close to a suspect, it could be interpreted as an authoritative gesture on the part of the law enforcement officer and if the suspect gets too close to the law enforcement officer, it could be interpreted as insult, intrusion or aggression.
  • Kinesics mainly deals with body language, including posture, facial expression, gestures and the way a suspect walks or sits, which can all communicate meaning to a law enforcement officer (Wayne, 2013). Vogler (2013) however stresses that different cultures interpret gestures differently which must be considered when confronting a suspect. Wayne (2013) reminds us that each society develops its own rules for interpreting non-verbal communication while Otu (2006) explains that a double finger “peace sign” in the USA may be interpreted in the UK as an obscene gesture. In a heterogeneous society, it is necessary for law enforcement officers to be familiar with other cultures and how they communicate non-verbally (Bailey, 2013).

Training in the detection of deception
According to Otu (2015), law enforcement officers must be sure that they can communicate non-verbally and decode the non-verbal communication of suspects, regardless of their cultural origin. Since non-verbal communication makes up two thirds of all communication, there is a need for law enforcement officers to have the ability to interpret conscious and unconscious non-verbal communication signs. Non-verbal communication is a powerful tool (Segal, Smith, Boose and Jaffe, 2013). Gardner (2018) adds that like all useful investigation tools non-verbal communication must be studied further as one can only go that far with an untrained eye.

Research into deception, which looks at the facial expressions of people who lie, has found that traces are left on the face after someone has told a lie, but that this only lasts briefly. The research reports: “During and immediately after lying, we found there are definite invisible but significant changes that take place on different parts of the face ... These significant invisible changes last only less than ten to 15 seconds” (Yoshiaki, 2015). It is therefore important that all individuals working in some field within the criminal justice system, be it a police official or a prosecutor, should be trained sufficiently in the detection of deception (Gardner, 2019). Navarro and Karlins (2008) write that facial cues are missed because we have been taught not to stare and/or because we concentrate more on what is being said than on how it is being said.

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: November 2019 from pp 34-37. The rest of the article reminds us that detecting deception relies on a variety of cues; and that the every face tells a story. If you are interested in obtaining the rest of the article, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (012) 345 4660 to find out how. Ed.]

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Servamus - June 2020

In February 2020, a family from Pretoria East had a harmful experience with a smartwatch which was meant to keep their children safe.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
When Anita* (a widow) found love via an online platform, she was thrilled.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
One unforeseen consequence of the emergence of the Internet, is the rapid increase in the illicit trade in child sexual abuse images and videos worldwide.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
The world around us is evolving at a rapid pace.
By Adv Jacqueline Fick

Pollex - June 2020

Read More The doctrine of common purpose and the crime of rape powered by social2s - S V Tshabalala; and S V Ntuli CCT 323/18 and CCT 69/19 (11 December 2019) (CC)
On 20 September 1998 (more than 20 years ago and while common law rape was still in operation) a group of young men - the two accused persons Mr Tshabalala and Mr Ntuli, together with their co-accused - went on a rampage in the Umthambeka section of the township of Tembisa in Gauteng.
Read More - S V Masuku 2019 (1) SACR 276 (GJ)
Mr Masuku, the accused, appeared before the regional court in Johannesburg (“the trial court”) on two charges of rape in contravention of section 3 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007, read with section 51(1) and, further read with Schedule 2 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997 (which provides for minimum sentences).
Read More - Van Rooyen and Another V Minister of Police 2019(1) SACR 349 (NCK)
The main characters in this legal drama are the following (note that the particulars of some of them are not mentioned in the judgment per se infra, accordingly Pollex found it on the Internet):

Letters - June 2020

NAME: W/O L H Zandberg STATION: Pretoria Central SAPS
Congratulations to Pollex for reaching 400 not out. Thanks for your assistance throughout the years. May God bless you with good health and joy and happiness, Brigadier.
“To sue or not to sue: May a public school be held liable when things go wrong?”
I want to take this opportunity to thank Servamus because, as a legal advisor in the police I cannot do it without Servamus.
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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.