• 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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By Kotie Geldenhuys

Child pornography has found a welcoming home on the Internet, as it provides a place for individuals to create, access and share child sexual abuse images worldwide at the click of a button. These criminals prefer to use the Internet since they can go about their illegal business anonymously and privately. They can also be directed to others in an inexpensive way, such as through websites, e-mail, chat rooms, newsgroups, bulletin boards, peer-to-peer networks and social networking sites. Then there is also the potential of real-time and interactive experiences for which webcams, video chat rooms and social networking sites are utilised.

Offenders can connect on Internet forums and networks to share their interests, desires and experiences in abusing children, in addition to selling, sharing and trading images. The child pornography market exploded after the advent of the Internet and is one of the fastest growing online markets. DeGarmo (2017) argues that it is a multi-billion dollar online industry, with more than 100 000 sites dedicated to the crime. The Internet has enabled child pornography to grow as an industry, and it is used as a tool to escalate this already disturbing crime.

Since child pornography images are distributed digitally, one of the advantages for the perpetrators is that the quality of the pictures does not deteriorate with time and can therefore be copied and shared with others time and again. The supply of child pornography and the exploitation of children in a sexual manner will never stop unless society addresses the demand for such material. The exploitation of children has been around for a long time and online technology has only served to increase the problem (DeGarmo, 2017).

Online child pornography does not know any borders and children are exposed across borders - South Africa is not exempt from this. Offenders in South Africa not only distribute pornographic images of South African children online to offenders abroad, they also receive images of children from their fellow perpetrators from all over the world.

Although we have heard about online child pornography and the arrests that have been made in the past, no-one ever really knew the extent of this horrific crime. Thus, when the SAPS became involved with Project Spade, which is an international police investigation into child pornography in 2013, they never imagined what a huge can of rotten worms they had opened.


Project Spade

Project Spade was initiated in 2012 in Toronto, Canada when police members made online contact with a man who was alleged to have been sharing pornographic videos featuring children via the Internet and mail. The investigation involved more than 50 countries, including South Africa. In 2013, the SAPS received information about 43 possible South African targets (suspects). With the help of Danny Myburgh from Cyanre, the Computer Forensic Lab, members of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit in Gauteng worked through all the information to draft spreadsheets. During this process, Lt-Col Heila Niemand, the Commander of the Gauteng Serial and Electronic Crime (FCS) Investigations (SECI) Unit, realised that the members do not have experience in dealing with an investigation of this magnitude. She therefore made an appointment with Lt-Gen Vinesh Moonoo, the Divisional Commissioner of Detectives at the time, to explain the reasons why this type of investigation had to be done from one centralised office with dedicated investigating officers. Lt-Gen Moonoo agreed with Lt-Col Niemand's suggestion, and this resulted in the establishment of a dedicated task team which she was to lead as the South African leg of the investigation.

As the targets were spread all over the country, one big "takedown" was organised on the same date and at the same time in August 2013, in all the provinces involved. Members from the Gauteng Provincial FCS Head Office who formed part of the dedicated task team, together with FCS members working in the relevant provinces, approached the targets simultaneously to prevent them from warning one another. On that specific day, eight targets were arrested. The task team worked through 24 premises and confiscated personal computers and laptops which were handed to the Technological Investigation Support Centre (TISC) at Detective Services: Head Office in Pretoria for further analysis. The targets who were arrested in South Africa include professionals such as teachers and lawyers. By April 2017, only one of the eight targets who were arrested in 2013 was still in court. It is concerning and important to note that none of the targets were sentenced to direct imprisonment. Fortunately, the good work that the investigation team had done did not go unnoticed and Interpol forwarded a commendation letter to the SAPS for the successes related to Project Spade in South Africa. Project Spade investigations worldwide have identified more than 350 000 images and more than 9000 videos of child sexual abuse and, globally, arrests are continuing to this day.


[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 international cooperation in bringing child pornographers to book as well as the examples of the different takedown operations. We also discuss the perpetrators and the victims. 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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