• 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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By Adv Jacqueline Fick

The world around us is evolving at a rapid pace. Technology has not only given rise to a new way of doing business, but also to how crime is committed - be it traditional or new types of crime.

When conducting an investigation in modern times, there is no better place to start at than with cellphone analysis. A cellphone is equivalent to a computer and in some cases, it contains more information than what we store on our computers. Yet, investigators might wonder how a cellphone can provide them with vital evidence in a murder or a robbery case and the like. This article aims to provide practical advice on how to deal with cellphone evidence as part of an investigation.

Distinguishing the types of information
For starters we need to distinguish between the information that can be obtained from mobile network operators (MNOs) and that which can be gathered from the cellphone itself. It is also important to note that not all the information that is stored on the cellphone can be requested from MNOs. A common misconception is that MNOs store the content of WhatsApp conversations. WhatsApp conversations and calls are data transactions which have end-to-end encryption, and all an MNO does is to provide the “pipe” through which the communication is passed from one device to another. MNOs also do not store the content of SMSes and therefore the content of these messages will not be available when you request the call data records (CDRs) for a specific cellphone number or as referred to by the MNOs, a MSISDN (Mobile Subscriber Integrated Services Digital Network).

The evidence that is contained on a cellphone will be classified as digital evidence. ISO/IEC 27037:2012 is an international standard that provides guidelines for specific activities in handling digital evidence, which are the identification, collection, acquisition and preservation of digital evidence that may be of evidential value. This standard provides the benchmark for dealing with among other things, digital evidence on cellphones and other mobile devices (https://www.iso.org/standard/44381.html).

Not all investigators are fortunate to have an investigator skilled in digital forensics present at each arrest. Investigators are advised to consider not booking a cellphone in as personal property when they arrest a suspect, but to book it as evidence and to follow the correct procedures when doing so. As with all evidence, there is a best practice for handling and ensuring a proper chain of custody. As much as it is commonly accepted that a firearm should be made safe before sealing it as evidence - a cellphone must also be made “safe”.

As a rule, the investigator should put the cellphone on flight mode, remove the SIM card or ideally, the battery should be removed (when possible) to prevent remote wiping of the phone. Remote wipe is a feature that allows a user to remove all data from your cellphone should the phone ever get lost or stolen. What criminals often do when their cellphones are seized, or when they know that some of their co-conspirators have been arrested is to remotely wipe the cellphone. If the cellphone is powered off or on flight mode, the remote wipe cannot be effected until the device is powered back on again or flight mode is deactivated. Therefore, the cellphone should only be activated by a trained digital forensic professional.

When processing the cellphone into evidence, be sure to note the cellphone, SIM card and even memory card as individual items. Each of these individual items holds different information which could be key to the investigation.

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[This is only an excerpt of an article published in Servamus: June 2020. The rest of the article discusses the different methods of cellphone analysis; cloud storage; a section 205 subpoena (Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977); and interpreting the information. A must read for ALL INVESTIGATORS! 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.