• The reality of prisons for many inmates is far from hoping to be rehabilitated. Instead, the reality is one of trying to protect oneself from the violence perpetrated on the inside. Read our article about the shocking reality of prison violence in the August 2017 issue of Servamus.

    The reality of prisons for many inmates is far from hoping to be rehabilitated. Instead, the reality is one of trying to protect oneself from the violence perpetrated on the inside. Read our article about the shocking reality of prison violence in the August 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • Some people seem to choose a life of violent crime. We ask whether it is due to an antisocial personality disorder or genes or whether other factors are at play. Read this interesting article in the August 2017 issue of Servamus.

    Some people seem to choose a life of violent crime. We ask whether it is due to an antisocial personality disorder or genes or whether other factors are at play. Read this interesting article in the August 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • Commercial crime is often regarded as “not so serious”. We prove the opposite in an article featured in the August 2017 issue of Servamus by giving a South African perspective to this very serious crime and the impact it has on the community and economy.

    Commercial crime is often regarded as “not so serious”. We prove the opposite in an article featured in the August 2017 issue of Servamus by giving a South African perspective to this very serious crime and the impact it has on the community and economy.

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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.

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[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 - August 2017

Asanda Baninzi and Wox Mthuthuzeli Nombewu hijacked a sergeant based at the Langebaan Airforce Base and his girlfriend, then drove them to the Mawumawu area in Nyanga.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Who will be the next National Commissioner of the SAPS? That is the question on many concerned South Africans' lips - especially those of police members, researchers and the SAPS's partners in the fight against crime.
By Annalise Kempen
Normal, healthy people seldom dream about death. They do not see crime scenes and dead people when they close their eyes.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
For a period of 11 years the serial rapist and murderer, Jimmy Maketta, terrorised communities in the Philippi area near Cape Town.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - August 2017

Read More - S v Parkins 2017 (1) SACR 235 (WCC)
Bradley Parkins (“the accused”) was convicted in the regional court sitting at Wynberg in the Cape Peninsula (“the trial court”) on the following six charges:
Read More - S v Mabitle 2017 (1) SACR 325 (NWM) and S v Monye and Another 2017 (1) SACR 329 (SCA)
In Ask Pollex in Servamus: August 2015, Pollex referred to a number of reported cases in respect of “contract killings”.
Read More In Servamus: June 2017, Pollex discussed the case of S v Hewitt 2017 (1) SACR 309 (SCA) (“the Hewitt case”). (The case involved the retired, world-renowned champion tennis player and instructor, Bob Hewitt.)
The Hewitt case was about three female complainants of whom two were raped and one was sexually assaulted (this offence was known as indecent assault at the time).
This month sees the last of our series of unlawful arrest and detention cases.

Letters - August 2017

Read More - An update (Servamus: December 2016
The telephone rings sharply in the charge office of Kliptown Police Station. The sergeant on duty looks up at the old clock hanging above the fireplace.
From 13 to 16 June 2017, members of the South African Police Service embarked on a trip to Mossel Bay for the Inter Provincial Soccer Championship, which was held at the D'Almeida sports ground.
Fathers’ Day was celebrated this year on 18 June, and I decided to run a special project under Social Crime Prevention for the fathers at Westville SAPS, with the wonderful support of some very gracious sponsors.
August 2017 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.