• 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

- The fate of victims of sexual crimes
Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys

“You were wearing a low cut, short mini dress, what did you expect?” Those are often the first words a rape victim hears when she tells someone from whom she trusted to get support, after she was raped by a friend at a party. Victims who come forward to report what happened, often have to answer ridiculous questions such as: “How much did you drink?” or “what did you wear?” These questions about the victim’s behaviour and choices are sometimes almost as painful as the violent act itself. Victims often stumble upon rape culture: a culture in which sexual violence is the norm and victims are blamed for the attacks on them.

The SAPS recorded a total of 39 828 cases of rape for the 2016/2017 financial year. These statistics are shocking because they represent what happened to real people. Unfortunately, several incidents of rape go unreported as many children, women and men don't report the crime for fear of being blamed; not being believed; experiencing secondary abuse; or that the criminal justice system will fail them. Rape culture and the practice of victim blaming are inherently linked phenomena which are prevalent in the South African society. The existence of a rape culture which normalises sexual violence and blames rape victims for the attacks against them, strongly influences the outcomes of rape trials and the treatment of rape victims.

What is a rape culture?
The term "rape culture" is often used to describe the way a society can contribute to the normalisation, endorsement and often even justification of sexual violence. Examples of rape culture, according to the Southern Connecticut State University in the USA (www.southernct.edu/sexual-misconduct/facts.html), include:

  • blaming the victim (such as by saying "She asked for it");
  • trivialising sexual assault such as: "Boys will be boys";
  • telling sexually explicit jokes;
  • tolerating sexual harassment;
  • publicly scrutinising a victim's clothes, mental state, motives and history;
  • gratuitous gender violence in movies and television;
  • defining "manhood" as dominant and sexually aggressive and "womanhood" as submissive and sexually passive;
  • pressure on men to "score";
  • assuming that men don't get raped or that only "weak" men get raped; and
  • refusing to take rape accusations seriously, which is what happened in the Bob Hewitt case where one of the victims' mothers didn't believe her when she told her
  • that he had raped her (refer to the Crime Series about this case as published in Servamus: June 2017 from p 36).

In this article we will also briefly look at so-called corrective rape (this describes the phenomenon whereby women are raped for being lesbian); male rape; revenge rape and cyber rape, as the rape is being justified in some way or another and/or the victim is being blamed for what happened to her/him in all these types of rape.

Victim blaming
Victim blaming comes in many forms and it can apply to rape and sexual assault cases, but also to more common crimes, such as when a man is pickpocketed and is then blamed for his decision to carry his wallet in his back pocket. In rape cases, victim blaming happens when a rape victim is told to take responsibility for the crime, or that both the victim and the rapist are equally to be blamed. This creates the false idea that rape is something the victim is responsible for or something people can easily avoid.

Not everyone who engages in victim blaming explicitly accuses victims of failing to prevent what has happened to them. In fact, in its more understated forms, people may not always realise they are busy playing the blame game. Even hearing about a crime and thinking you would have been more careful had you been in the victim's shoes is a mild form of victim blaming (Roberts, 2016).

McKaizer (2017) stresses that the culture of victim blaming is insidious and that even women participate in it. In one case an older woman called a South African radio talk show and urged women who are raped not to walk away from the rapist but to help their rapist deal with "the wounds and anger" that cause them to rape. She cited the example of a perpetrator who had been abandoned by his dad. His absent father had left the boy "wounded and angry". The boy sexually assaulted a girl. This woman then said that the victim had a responsibility not to walk away but to help the perpetrator. The level of perversity in this comment is horrific. It stems from a seemingly innocent motive: the desire to help stop that young rapist from raping more girls. But why should a survivor of rape be held chiefly responsible for recovering the humanity of the monster who attacked her? This is victim blaming on a whole new level - it sends a message to girls and women that they are responsible for being attacked and that as punishment for their supposed irresponsibility of making boys and men rape them, they must also help to soothe their victim-rapist. In cases like these, the perpetrator is regarded the victim and the victim is seen as the perpetrator. Isn't it shocking?

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

[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: February 2018. The rest of the article focuses on the media’s role in rape culture and victim blaming; corrective rape as part of the rape culture; the secret shame of male rape - part of the rape culture; a culture of revenge rape and cyber rape as part of the rape culture in a technologically mad world. 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.