• Do you have anger issues? Are you dealing with them or do you grab a knife, a panga or a brick to attack another person when you get angry? We ask whether there is a link between anger and crime. Refer to the article published in Servamus: July 2020 on p10 to p12.

    Do you have anger issues? Are you dealing with them or do you grab a knife, a panga or a brick to attack another person when you get angry? We ask whether there is a link between anger and crime. Refer to the article published in Servamus: July 2020 on p10 to p12.

  • Citizens are often unsure what they need to do when they are subjected to abuse or acts of brutality by police members. We provide you with valuable tips on what to do and contact details where to report such abuse. Read the article published in Servamus: July 2020 on p50 to p53.

    Citizens are often unsure what they need to do when they are subjected to abuse or acts of brutality by police members. We provide you with valuable tips on what to do and contact details where to report such abuse. Read the article published in Servamus: July 2020 on p50 to p53.

  • The members of the Investigative Psychology Section of the SAPS do much more than to “get into the mind of a criminal”. They render a vital role to assist investigating officers with any psychologically-motivated crimes.  Read more about their work in an article published in Servamus: July 2020 on p40 and p41.

    The members of the Investigative Psychology Section of the SAPS do much more than to “get into the mind of a criminal”. They render a vital role to assist investigating officers with any psychologically-motivated crimes.  Read more about their work in an article published in Servamus: July 2020 on p40 and p41.

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This month's crime series shows us once again how religion can be abused and used to cloak criminal acts. When Cecilia Steyn started her own "ministry" called "Electus Per Deus" (Chosen by God) in 2012 to take revenge on Ria Grunewald, it also marked the start of the religious group's criminal activities, which included the bombing of vehicles, robbery, fraud and murder. All these criminal acts were performed in the name of their so-called religion. (Refer to part 1 of this month's Crime Series published from p44 in Servamus: July 2020.)

By Kotie Geldenhuys

Religion and faith help to guide and shape our view of the world and provide values that direct our behaviour. It is generally accepted that religion works for the greater good, but it can also be the total opposite. Crimes are often committed in the name of religion - in fact, wars have been fought in the name of religion. Unfortunately, those who are part of these groups are brainwashed and indoctrinated by the leader(s) of the religious groups, often to such an extent that they are not able to realise that they are actually involved in or committing crime.

When crimes are committed in the name of religion, one cannot help to think about cults. The word “cult” can be used in many ways and distinctions are drawn between different types of cults. The two broad categories are religious cults which include Christian, Eastern and satanic cults and non-religious cults which include business, educational, personality, political and even UFO (unknown foreign objects) cults. In an article that was published in the Ned Geref Theological Magazine, Dr Pretorius explains that cults are described in terms of the threat they pose or the harm they can inflict on society. Harmful or abusive cults are those groups whose teachings and practices are not only different from societal and/or theological norms but are also believed to exert strong social and psychological pressure, which can make individuals do things that they would not have considered doing prior to joining the group (Pretorius, 2012).

Dr Pretorius goes on to explain that one deals with a cult if the following occurs:

  • The followers display excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader. The leader’s belief system, ideology and practices are viewed as the truth, as law.
  • No questioning of the doctrine or doubt is tolerated and dissent is discouraged and even punished.
  • Any doubts about the group and its leader(s) must be suppressed and mind-altering practices (including meditation and chanting, denunciation sessions and debilitating work routines) are used.
  • Followers are dictated to in terms of their thoughts, actions and feelings. They need permission to date, change jobs, leave the premises or marry. Leaders are also prescriptive in terms of the clothes their followers wear, where they live, whether or not they may have children and their children’s discipline.
  • The group displays an elite mentality which means that it claims a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and followers. The leader is viewed as the messiah, a special being on a special mission to save humanity.
  • A polarised us-versus-them mentality is displayed by the group.
  • Total commitment to the leader or group requires followers to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter or abandon personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
  • The group is preoccupied with making money.
  • Followers are expected to spend inordinate amounts of time with the group and to engage in group-related activities.
  • Socialising of followers is only to take place with other group members (Pretorius, 2012).

Why do people get involved in a cult?
British psychologist, Dr Linda Dubrow Marshall and her psychologist husband Prof Rod Dubrow Marshall, who both conducted research on the psychology of undue influence and coercive persuasion (such as which is used by cults and extremist groups) argue that people do not see and react on an advert for an “abusive and murderous cult” or “how to end your life in trafficked drudgery”.

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[This is only an excerpt of an article published in Servamus: July 2020. The rest of the article focuses on more reasons why people get involved in a cult; how cult leaders control their followers; the crimes committed by cults; the fact that cult leaders do not get their hands dirty; and we ask: what next? Is there life after the cult? If you are interested in reading the full article, send an email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact our office at tel: 012 345 4660/22 to find out what to do. Ed.]

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Servamus - July 2020

Hacked to death with a panga - that was how Ed Neumeister, the 67-year-old owner of a restaurant in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal was killed in broad daylight on the first Saturday of June 2020 (Regchand, 2020).
By Annalise Kempen
Imagine you are sitting behind your desk at work and the bleep of an incoming message on your cellphone draws your attention.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
This month's crime series shows us once again how religion can be abused and used to cloak criminal acts.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
The number of women who have committed violent crime globally, is very small in relation to male perpetrators.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - July 2020

Read More - S v Davids 2019 (1) SACR 257 (WCC)
Relevant legal provision According to section 1 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977, the phrase “aggravating circumstances” (in Afrikaans text: “verswarende omstandig-hede”) is defined as follows:
Read More - S v Zabathini Jonas Case No: CA & R 99/17 dated 19 July 2019 (NCK)
Mr Zabathini Jonas, the accused, was convicted in the regional court, sitting at the town of Phillipstown in the Northern Cape Province (“the trial court”), of two counts of rape, in circumstances where the provisions of section 51 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997 (also referred to as the “Minimum Sentences Act”) applied.
Background According to recent media reports, some members of the South African Police Service (“the SAPS”) and members of the South African National Defence Force (“the Defence Force”) have, generally speaking, conducted themselves incompetently, inexpertly and unprofessionally during law enforcement operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Letters - July 2020

After 80 days of enforcing COVID-19 lockdown regulations, 14 police officials have succumbed to the coronavirus, Police Minister Bheki Cele announced during a multi-disciplinary operation in Soweto.
It is with deep regret and sad hearts that we learnt about the passing of Kelly Ann de Villiers, the wife of W/O Jerome de Villiers.
July 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.