• Despite heavy rains, the SAPS managed to host a successful national athletics championship in Pretoria at the end of March 2018. Read about the events and the winners in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 52-54.

    Despite heavy rains, the SAPS managed to host a successful national athletics championship in Pretoria at the end of March 2018. Read about the events and the winners in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 52-54.

  • Part 2 of our Crime Series discussing the shocking events of how Christopher Panayiotou had his lovely wife, Jayde, killed. Read about his conviction and sentence in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 34-43.

    Part 2 of our Crime Series discussing the shocking events of how Christopher Panayiotou had his lovely wife, Jayde, killed. Read about his conviction and sentence in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 34-43.

  • On 26 March 2018, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety and the City of Cape Town recognised the top Neighbourhood Watch structures in the Cape Town Metropole for their contribution to fight crime. Read the article in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 46-49.

    On 26 March 2018, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety and the City of Cape Town recognised the top Neighbourhood Watch structures in the Cape Town Metropole for their contribution to fight crime. Read the article in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 46-49.

  • Children should be taught about road safety from an early start – but parents have an equally important responsibility to ensure that the transport their children use to school is safe and registered. Read our articles in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 56-59.

    Children should be taught about road safety from an early start – but parents have an equally important responsibility to ensure that the transport their children use to school is safe and registered. Read our articles in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 56-59.

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By Kotie Geldenhuys
Photos provided by the NPA

“Ever since the incident, I’ve never felt the same and my life is not normal. I just became so down and not participated in conversations with my surroundings. The things you did to me, I blame myself, I blame God but the truth is it is all your fault. You may be going to jail but know that you have broken me. I didn’t live like a normal teenager and part of me has been taken away. You took away my precious gift and sometimes I just ask myself if I will ever live a normal life because what you did to me, really affected me.

I hardly sleep at night because sometimes I have dreams of you raping me and it is very heart-breaking that I will never be able to be proud of myself because I feel like I am nothing. You really broke my heart and now I can’t even trust anyone and trust is very important but you took that away from me. You took away my happiness and I can be happy now but later I will get flashbacks that will never go away. I will be having them until the end of my life. I wish that you could put yourself in my shoes and feel the sadness in me right now. Malume you have broken me deeply and I can’t put everything that I am feeling into writing but my heart is bleeding of anger, sadness and brokenness. I trusted you and treated you like my father. When I cry at night I ask myself what did I ever do for you to come and rape me. I may not be happy as I used to be before but I want you to ask yourself every night why is it that you raped your own niece? Why did you break your niece’s heart? I wanted you to treat me like a daughter but didn’t.”

This quotation comes from a letter written by the 16-year-old victim of the musician Sipho “Brickz” Ndlovu after she made her statement to court preparation officers on 17 July 2017. The accused raped the girl in 2013 when she was 13 years old. After the incident the victim was bleeding and in severe pain. Ndlovu told her to take a bath after the rape and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. The girl was unaware that she had been infected with a sexually transmitted disease. She did not testify in court due to the amount of media attention in the case. On 17 October 2017, Ndlovu was sentenced to 15 years’ incarceration (www.thenewage.co.za/why-did-you-rape-your-own-niece-read-full-letter-from-victim-to-brickz and www.timeslive.co.za/tshisa-live/tshisa-live/2017-10-17-brickz-sentenced-to-15-years-in-jail-for-raping-a-teenage-relative). In cases like these, court preparation and victim impact statements especially play an important role.

The active participation of victims and witnesses in criminal proceedings is of utmost importance to ensure successful investigations, prosecution and convictions. In order to obtain a conviction for a crime that has been committed and to ensure that justice is served, evidence, whether in the form of a witness testifying or other physical evidence, is required. However, people have limited knowledge about the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and their knowledge is often based on what they have seen on the television or in the movies. However, court systems abroad are different from the South African court system where a jury, for example, is not used.

For people who have never been to court, the formal set-up can be intimidating. Testifying in court, where everything is strange, in front of strangers can be very traumatic. People, including children, find it difficult to talk about traumatic experiences as they may experience the trauma all over again. When a victim is cross-examined by the defence, s/he may experience further trauma as cross-examination is used as a tool to confuse a victim/witness. Confrontation and cross-examination create huge difficulties for child victims. Many victims of crime, especially victims of sexual offences and child witnesses, are not necessarily anxious about the case itself, but rather about facing the accused in the court environment as well as the unknown territory that awaits them since they do not have a clear understanding of the functioning of the CJS. The result is that victims often withdraw the charge or fall apart on the witness stand.

With the high prevalence of sexual offences committed against children in South Africa, the quality and accuracy of a child's testimony are often pivotal to whether cases are prosecuted, and whether justice is done. The way in which judicial officers respond to abused children is very important. They must deal with the child victim in a sensitive manner and with respect. Going to court is a stressful experience for anyone, and even more so for children, therefore children must receive specialist services in courts. Although most cases involving children are held in camera or through a court intermediary, it is important for the child victim/witness and his/her parents/caregiver to know what happens in a court, what to expect and to be properly prepared for the court. If this process is neglected, secondary abuse of the already traumatised child can occur.

The aim of court preparation
Too often cases fall through because of inadequate preparation, resulting in the accused being set free, with the potential to re-offend. Therefore, court preparation programmes are important to assist victims to prepare to give consistent, coherent and accurate testimony in court. It is important to note that court preparation is not about telling or coaching victims/witnesses what to say.

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: May 2018. The rest of the article discusses the NPA’s Ke Bona Lesedi court preparation programme in more detail; the role of the court preparation officer; how victims are assisted with court preparation; how this process contributes to the victim’s healing and victim impact statements. The article concludes with contact details for provincial court preparation coordinators. To enquire how to obtain 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 -May 2018

“Ever since the incident, I’ve never felt the same and my life is not normal."
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Imagine sending your children to a school where the teachers are armed with pistols?
By Annalise Kempen
“Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.” - Doug Firebaugh.
By Annalise Kempen
Social workers found Manny in the care of a Portuguese-speaking woman who was not his mother.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - May 2018

Read More - S V DW 2017 (1) SACR 336 (NCK)
The accused, Mr DW, appeared before the magistrates’ court (apparently in the town of Kakamas, near Upington), on a charge of housebreaking with intent to commit an offence unknown to the prosecutor*.
Read More - S V MM 2018 (1) SACR 18 (GP)
Section 7 of the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008 (“the CJA”) provides as follows: “7. Minimum age of criminal capacity
Read More - NDPP v Mr PDP and Others 2017 (2) SACR 577 (NCK)
First, Pollex was told that only a person with a valid driving licence can be the owner of a motor vehicle, except when such person pays cash for the motor vehicle concerned.

Letters - May 2018

Lt-Col V G Naidoo, a retired police officer from Durban, received an honorary membership of the SAPS Athletics Association for his invaluable contribution to the sport over a number of years.
The Special Investigations Unit of the National Council of SPCAs has been strongly supported by the West Rand K9 Unit and has been assisted by some very dedicated and passionate police officials in their endeavours to bring the perpetrators of animal cruelty to justice.
Following the excellent investigation conducted by Capt Swanepoel, Adv Marius Stander, senior state advocate, wrote the following evaluation report in recognition of Capt Swanepoel's service and in order for him to be considered for an award.
May 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.