• Teenagers and alcohol don’t mix. What are parents’ responsibilities to ensure that their children don’t abuse alcohol? We give a variety of tips in our Community Safety feature in the June 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • Tennis star Bob Hewitt found guilty 30 years after committing sexual abuse against those he coached. Read the details about what had happened in the Crime Series published in the June 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • Sexting – the exchange of sexual messages or images – is a reality in schools. Teachers and learners are perpetrators and it is important to know about the dangers. Read our article in the June 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • Teenage alcohol abuse combined with sexting can have devastating & deadly consequences. Parents need to get involved to prevent their children from becoming victims. Read our article in the June 2017 issue of Servamus.

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- Will the bullying ever stop? Can we bullyproof our children?

Compiled by Annalise Kempen

Social media has made a huge contribution to creating awareness of bullying - not only physical or verbal bullying, but also cyberbullying. The reality is that every single person is a potential victim. It is no longer only the girl with the pimples or the overweight boy who are teased, bullied and left out of activities.

To confirm the point, let's look at what happened at a well-known Johannesburg high school after a video of an assault was posted online in February 2017. In the video, two boys are being shown standing nervously next to each other as two other pupils prepare for the assault. One of the older boys, who is in Gr 11, is shown carefully taking off his blazer and rolling up his shirt sleeves. He then proceeds to slap one of the younger boys hard on the ear. The other bully, also a Gr 11 learner, does the same to the second victim. The two younger boys, who are in Gr 10, stumble backwards but do not fight back.

What is bullying?

What happened at this high school is unfortunately not an isolated incident and can be described as bullying, or what the Department of Basic Education describes as "school bullying". This is the type of bullying that occurs either inside or outside of school. It can be physical, verbal or emotional and is usually repeated over a period of time. The Gauteng Department of Education elaborates by noting that bullying can be defined as a deliberate act of aggression or manipulation which occurs when repeated, systematic and hurtful verbal abuse or behaviour are committed by one person on another. The English Oxford Living Dictionaries defines a bully as "a person who uses strength or influence to harm or intimidate those who are weaker" and when one uses it as a verb, it means "to use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something".

In a school context, bullying occurs in nearly any place in or around the school building. However, it occurs more often during school breaks, in hallways or bathrooms, on school buses and places where children are waiting for buses, in classes that require group work and/or during after school activities. It can happen without the victim doing anything to provoke the behaviour from the bully and takes the form of one learner or a group taking advantage of, or isolating, one other learner or two other learners in particular.

Types of bullying
Bullying is not limited to one type and consists of:

  • Physical bullying

This type of bullying includes acts that are physical in nature, such as when the bully forces other children to do things they do not want to do, takes or damages other children's belongings, engages in violent acts such as kicking, hitting or punching, or even sexually harassing another child such as by pulling the victim's pants down.

  • Verbal bullying

This type of bullying happens when the bully makes verbal threats to the victim or when the victim is teased, mocked or taunted. Other forms of verbal bullying include making threatening and embarrassing gestures; writing nasty letters about someone; insulting a person's family members; calling people names; and swearing.

  • Psychological bullying

This is a type of bullying which is often not recognised or associated with bullying per se and includes the spreading of false and hurtful rumours; excluding someone from activities or groups; telling others to stop liking a specific person; trying to dominate a person; intimidating someone by staring at him/her; humiliating or making a fool out of a person; or scaring or intimidating someone.

  • Cyberbullying

In recent years, and especially with the use of social media becoming more general, victims are being tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by other children using interactive and digital technologies such as the Internet or cellphones. This form of bullying is also usually not a one-time occurrence, but extends over a period of time.

Warning signs
Parents and teachers are not always sure about whether what they see happening to children can be defined as bullying. There are, however, various signs which adults can look out for and which may help them understand the problems that children are facing at school.


[This is only an extract of the article published in the May 2017 issue of Servamus. The rest of the article continues with a discussion about the warning signs. We also give tips on what parents and schools and the victim can do regarding bullying. We also discuss cyberbullying and again give tips on what parents can do. This article is a must-read for everyone who has children or work with children. If you are interested in reading the rest of the article, contact Servamus’s offices at tel: (012) 345 4660/22 or send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

Servamus - June 2017

In April 2013, a 17-year-old girl named Rehtaeh Parsons, was removed from life support and subsequently died.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
"Can you crawl through my window? I will do whatever you want. I want it to be first-class. First-class hotel, champagne and good sex."
By Kotie Geldenhuys
It is night-time in the city. Flashing neon lights and soft streetlamps create shadowy images across the pavement.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
In May 2017, the story broke that a young 22-year-old water polo teacher at Parktown Boys High had been accused of sexually grooming and assaulting more than 20 schoolboys, aged between 15 and 16 years, at this top school in Johannesburg.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - Jun 2017

Read More - Gareth Prince, Jonathan David Rubin, Jeremy David Acton and Others v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) and Others, unreported case no 8760/2013 dated 31 March 2017, Western Cape High Court (WCC)
This is the much-publicised case regarding an application by the three applicants supra, before a full bench of three judges of the High Court in Cape Town ("the court"), for a declaration that certain legislative provisions that prohibit the use, possession, purchase and cultivation for personal or communal consumption of cannabis (also referred to as "dagga" and/or "marijuana"), are invalid.
Read More - S V [Bob] Hewitt 2017 (1) SACR 309 (SCA)
This is the much-publicised case of the retired, world-renowned champion tennis player and instructor/coach, Bob Hewitt, who was convicted by the High Court in Pretoria on two counts of rape* and one count of indecent assault*.
Read More – Burford v Minister of Police, unreported case no CA 128/2015 dated 10 November 2015 (ECG)
Background Section 50 (1)(a),(b),(c) and (d)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows:

Letters - Jun 2017

I am a retired member of the SAPS and I collect all kinds of SAPS memorabilia from the inception of the South African Police in 1913 right to the present.
I am a retired member of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and I would like to purchase a blue leather uniform jacket as worn by SAPS members.
On 21 April 2017, police colleagues of D/W/O Petrus Oelofse attended his farewell function, which was hosted by the Jeffreys Bay Stock Theft Unit.
June 2017 Magazine Cover

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