• The SAPS held a special parade to welcome back Mr Bheki Cele as the Minister for Police. He had previously been the National Commissioner of the SAPS. Refer to article published on pp 44-45 of Servamus: April 2018.

    The SAPS held a special parade to welcome back Mr Bheki Cele as the Minister for Police. He had previously been the National Commissioner of the SAPS. Refer to article published on pp 44-45 of Servamus: April 2018.

  • The tragedy surrounding the murder of Jayde Panayiotou is discussed in this month’s crime series. Read about how Jayde’s murder was planned by her husband and the work done by the police investigators.

    The tragedy surrounding the murder of Jayde Panayiotou is discussed in this month’s crime series. Read about how Jayde’s murder was planned by her husband and the work done by the police investigators.

  • Following the Marikana tragedy in 2012, the Public Order Policing Units of the SAPS come under attack. A lot of work has been done ever since, including the launch of national reserve POP Units. We update you on the latest developments surrounding POP in Servamus: April 2018.

    Following the Marikana tragedy in 2012, the Public Order Policing Units of the SAPS come under attack. A lot of work has been done ever since, including the launch of national reserve POP Units. We update you on the latest developments surrounding POP in Servamus: April 2018.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

- Finding the answers and looking at the consequences
By Annalise Kempen

If you have been the victim of a property-related crime such as a housebreaking, stay in an urban area or have relatively easy access to a police station, chances are very good that you will report it to the police. For many victims the main reason for reporting such crimes is nothing more than the requirement of their short-term insurance cover to obtain a police case number in order to submit a claim. But what if you don't have insurance or easy access to a police station? Would you still take the trouble to report the crime to the police?

Each year, with the release of the SAPS's annual crime statistics, as well as Statistics SA's Victims of Crime Survey (VoCS), South Africans are reminded by numerous organisations and commentators that the crime pictures that are painted are not (necessarily) a true reflection of what is happening in our country. Lizette Lancaster from the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) notes that, following a report by the Minister of Police to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police on 3 March 2017, "these decreases may be the result of growing levels of under-reporting and under-recording of crime - rather than a real decrease". Using the VoCS of 2015/2016 as an example, Lancaster (2017) cites examples of how the SAPS's annual statistics differ from the inferences made in the VoCS. "In 2016, the SAPS recorded 253 716 home burglaries - representing a 2% increase over the past five years. According to the VoCS, the police statistics represent only about half of all break-ins taking place nationally, because only 47% of cases were reported to the police. In addition to burglaries, the police recorded 20 820 armed invasions of homes while the victims were present. This extremely traumatic crime is categorised as residential robbery, and increased by 24% since 2011/2012. The actual number of these crimes is estimated to be a third higher than the police statistics - due to under-reporting." Lancaster (2017) continues along the same lines with other crime categories that show under-reporting when the SAPS's annual statistics are compared to the findings of the VoCS.

The SAPS's annual statistics reflect the crimes reported to the police as well as those crimes that were detected as a result of police action such as the illegal possession of firearms of drugs. But there is clear evidence that not all crimes, either serious or petty in nature, are reported to the police and it is important to find some answers as to why victims make the decision not to report and what the ultimate consequences of such non-reporting or under-reporting are.

Victims of Crime Survey: perceptions of crime in South Africa
One of the sources consulted to find answers regarding factors that contribute to why people don't report crime is the Victims of Crime Survey (VoCS). Of the respondents, 51% of victims of housebreaking reported the crime to the police. Of these, 38% of households were satisfied with the police's response - which mostly included Indian/Asian and White respondents. Those who didn't report their housebreakings gave two main reasons, namely: 31.9% claimed that the "police could do nothing" while 28.3% claimed that "the police would do nothing". Given that this amounts to 60% of respondents, it speaks clearly to a lack of confidence in the police by a large part of the community. Apart from these two reasons, the respondents in the VoCS noted other reasons why they did not report housebreaking to the police:

  • 7.5% noted that they solved the case themselves or that the perpetrator was known to them;
  • 7% believed that the case was inappropriate for the police or that it was not necessary for the police to deal with the matter;
  • 3.5% reported the housebreaking to other authorities instead (which were not specified);
  • 4.3% noted that their families resolved the matter;
  • 1.3% claimed that they did not report the matter due to a fear or dislike of the police or that they did not want the police to be involved; and
  • 0.6% said that they did not dare to report the housebreaking to the police out of fear of reprisal.

******************************

[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: February 2018. The rest of the article discusses, among others, reasons for not reporting sexual violence; the role of emotional distress and other characteristics in non-reporting; how under-/non-reporting of crime is not unique to South Africa – looking at the USA and the Netherlands; and the consequences of non-reporting crime to the police. To enquire how to obtain the rest of the article, contact Servamus’s offices at tel: (012) 345 4660 or send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

Servamus - April 2018

When a disabled 52-year-old former soldier's wife died a couple of years ago, his 26-year-old brother-in-law moved into his house to take care of him.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
For many consumers, short-term insurance is a grudge expense, until that day when they are involved in a vehicle accident or they return home from work or holiday to find that they have been the victim of a burglary and they need to register a claim with their insurer.
By Annalise Kempen
There are no words to describe the shock when a man cold-bloodedly murders his wife, seemingly without motive.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Many adults have fond memories of their grandparents - visiting them during holidays, being treated with sweets or sitting on their laps listening to numerous stories.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - April 2018

The word supra refers to "a person who eats human flesh". According to recent media reports, arrests have been made "for the crime of cannibalism" (Afrikaans: "kannibalisme") and that those persons will "appear in court on charges of cannibalism".
Read More - Per Mr Lucky Shange in a news item that appeared in News 24 dated 17 February 2018
According to the news item referred to supra, the 40-year-old Mr Lucky Shange was arrested in 1998.
According to all indications, South Africa has, or is heading for a water crisis. As far as the Cape Peninsula in the Western Cape is concerned, the crisis is already upon its inhabitants.

Letters - April 2018

The article “A walk down memory lane - Paying tribute to a dedicated war hero” that was published in Servamus: March 2018 on pp 76-77, refers.
Ever thought about the impact of parents’ jobs on their children? This poem, written by W/O Johan Coetzer’s daughter, Megan, says so much, especially when one realises that she was only 13 years old when she wrote it.
April 2018 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.