• 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.

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- The vital importance of victim impact statements in the court process
Compiled by Annalise Kempen in cooperation with Rhona van Niekerk*

In high profile cases such as that of the Modimolle monster or Oscar Pistorius, the public heard, through the media, what impact the violent crime had on the victim and their families. They heard about the psychological and physical scars which both victims and even their siblings could carry with them, potentially for the rest of their lives. However, not all victims have the opportunity or courage to verbalise every way in which crime has impacted on their lives when they stand in the witness box. This makes one wonder - is there someone/something who can “speak” on the victim’s behalf to show the court how that person’s life has changed since the crime? Fortunately, the answer is yes.

What is a victim?
The Department of Social Development issued a booklet entitled Minimum standards for service delivery in victim empowerment (Victims of crime and violence), in which the following definition is used to describe a victim: “A person who, individually or collectively suffered harm, including physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, economic loss or substantial impairment of their rights, through acts or omissions that are violations of national criminal laws or of internationally recognised norms relating to human rights.” In this same booklet, the United Nations (UN) Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power notes that a person may be considered a victim regardless of whether the perpetrator is identified, apprehended, prosecuted or convicted and regardless of the familial relationship between the perpetrator and victim. The term “victim” can also include, where appropriate, the immediate family or dependants of the direct victim and persons who have suffered harm in intervening to assist victims in distress to preventing victimisation.

Criminologists as experts in the courtroom
The late world-renowned forensic criminologist, Dr Irma Labuschagne, brought the important contribution of criminologists to the criminal justice system to the fore in highly publicised cases such as that of Najwa Petersen, who killed her husband Taliep, and the Skierlik shooter, Johan Nel, in which she presented expert evidence. However, the introduction of criminologists in the courtroom started during the 1980s in an organised manner under the guidance of Judge Richard Goldstone and, ever since, criminologists have assisted with criminological pre-sentence reports in many criminal trials. But, a decade ago, the use of criminologists was not yet that common and Van der Hoven (2006) notes that only a small number of criminologists compiled pre-sentence reports for the courts, with an even smaller number who are full-time forensic criminologists. And yet, with the amount of serious violent crime committed in South Africa, one could argue that there is a great need for such experts to comment professionally on both factors that impacted on an accused to commit a crime and the impact of that crime on the victim.

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: February 2018. The rest of the article focuses on pre-sentencing reports and their admissibility; victim impact statements and their structure; the types of cases in which victim impact statements are typically used and how the written word (or the lack thereof) can speak very loudly. 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.