• It is impossible to understand how parents can physically abuse and neglect their own children, and yet it happens. We remind our readers about what child abuse entails in a comprehensive article published in Servamus: May 2020.

    It is impossible to understand how parents can physically abuse and neglect their own children, and yet it happens. We remind our readers about what child abuse entails in a comprehensive article published in Servamus: May 2020.

  • The Springs Monster case is probably one of the worst child abuse cases in recent years. We bring you the first part of this crime series in the May 2020 issue of Servamus. A shocking, must-read for all.

    The Springs Monster case is probably one of the worst child abuse cases in recent years. We bring you the first part of this crime series in the May 2020 issue of Servamus. A shocking, must-read for all.

  • Bullying and cyberbullying are realities for children across the world. We explain the details of both types in detail and what could be done to identify and prevent it. Be informed and read both articles in Servamus: May 2020

    Bullying and cyberbullying are realities for children across the world. We explain the details of both types in detail and what could be done to identify and prevent it. Be informed and read both articles in Servamus: May 2020

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It’s about more than money … it’s about making a difference
By Annalise Kempen

One of the very sad consequences of every holiday season is the high number of vehicle crashes happening on our roads - not only resulting in people losing loved ones, but also leaving many drivers and passengers seriously injured or even disabled. Despite these tragedies, we tend to forget about the victims or to ask whether anyone would be there to support them on their road to recovery, help to cover their future medical expenses, or compensate for their loss of income.

Given South Africa's atrocious road crash statistics, the question is whether anyone who has been injured in a vehicle crash can register a claim against the RAF for the injuries suffered, irrespective of their extent. Servamus posed this important question to Mr Paul Molefi Modipa, the General Manager: Forensics at the Road Accident Fund (RAF).

Mr Paul Modipa is a former detective with extensive investigative experience in the South African Police Service (SAPS), the Directorate for Special Investigations (Scorpions), as well as the Special Investigating Unit (SIU). It therefore makes sense why he was tasked with managing a team of investigators responsible for dealing with those who try to defraud the RAF. Amid the tragedy of vehicle crashes, there are also those who have not suffered injuries but who will try to take advantage of the system by claiming compensation not legally due to them. Some people regard this as an easy way to "make big money", which is why such a team is necessary.

The RAF’s mandate
The RAF which receives its mandate through the Road Accident Fund Act 56 of 1996, came into operation on 1 May 1997. It assumed, at the time, all the rights, obligations, assets and liabilities of the then Multilateral Motor Vehicle Accidents Fund. In terms of section 3 of Act 56 of 1996, the objective of the RAF is the payment of compensation in accordance with this Act for loss or damage wrongfully caused by the driving of a motor vehicle. Vehicle owners are compensated by their short-term insurance for the replacement or repair of their vehicle following a vehicle crash. The RAF does not cover such material damages claims, but instead covers claims for injury and death resulting from the vehicle crash. This is where the RAF provides a social security safety net to the country and the economy by making compulsory personal insurance and indemnity cover available to drivers of motor vehicles. In simple terms, the RAF provides compensation for loss or damage to drivers of motor vehicles, passengers and other members of society including, but not limited to the poor, children and even foreign visitors to the Republic. As Paul explained it: "The role of the RAF is to compensate and rehabilitate those who have been injured due to motor vehicle crashes on South African roads."

Funding
During the Minister of Finance's annual Budget Vote, he usually makes an announcement about an increase in the fuel levy. Currently, this means that for every litre of fuel (petrol or diesel) that is bought, R1.98 goes towards the RAF. It was only when Mr Modipa explained in detail what happens to this money that I felt much better about the small contribution I make each time I fill up my vehicle's fuel tank.

For the 2018/2019 financial year, R42.6 billion (the income from fuel levies) was spent as follows:

  • R3.6 billion on medical costs;
  • R160 million on funeral costs;
  • R10.3 billion on legal and expert costs;
  • R9.2 billion on general damages (for example due to serious injuries); and
  • R19.4 billion on loss of earnings and support (which is paid up to the age of 65).

Mr Modipa explained that prior to 1 August 2008, foreigners who were involved in motor vehicle crashes within the borders of South Africa often had enormous claims which placed the RAF's finances under strain. A statutory income cap was introduced with effect from the aforementioned date to address this concern. South Africans who have travelled beyond our borders, such as to Europe, know that having comprehensive insurance is a prerequisite for a tourist visa to be issued. Therefore, it would make sense for the South African legislature to introduce similar requirements.

Rehabilitate, reintegrate and restore victims of vehicle crashes
Mr Modipa noted the importance of aiming to rehabilitate, reintegrate and restore victims of vehicle crashes. As far as it is possible, the RAF will seek to cover medical expenses related to such vehicle crashes and pay for general damages as well as compensate for future loss of earnings if a person has been disabled following a vehicle crash. It is as if the RAF steps into the shoes of the wrongdoer and pays damages on the latter's behalf for the wrongdoer's wrongful actions to protect the wrongdoer and his or her family from financial ruin. This means that the wrongdoer is indemnified from financial liability in terms of the Act (not in terms of any possible criminal actions such as culpable homicide).

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: January 2020. The rest of the article discusses the claims process and explains that victims can claim directly from RAF; it looks at ways the RAF is fighting fraud and shares a story of how the RAF has made a difference to a victim’s life. If you are interested in reading the rest of the article send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact the Servamus office at tel: (012) 345 4660/22 for more information.]

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Servamus - May 2020

It was a difficult start to the 2020 school year. In Gauteng, several learners had died in various tragic accidents.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
When the news broke in January 2020 about a schoolboy who had drowned during a school orientation camp in North West, many parents were impacted by the fact that something similar could so easily happen to their own children.
By Annalise Kempen
It boggles one's mind when the innocence of a child meets the severity of a violent crime like murder.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Do you realise that bullying is a form of child abuse? It is so serious that the legislature specifically mentions it in the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 where “abuse”, in relation to a child, means any form of harm or ill-treatment deliberately inflicted on a child, and includes bullying by another child.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - May 2020

Read More - S V Garland 2019 (2) SACR 162 (WCC)
Mr Garland, the accused, is currently approximately 26 years old. On 24 June 2011, when he was 17 years old, he was apprehended in his mother’s residence in the town of Montagu*, for the unlawful possession of a small quantity of cannabis (dagga).
Read More - Msongelwa V Minister of Police (112/2012) [2020] ZAECMHC 10 (17 March 2020) (EMC)
The plaintiff (Afrikaans: “eiser”), Mr Nkululeko Msongelwa, was arrested on 7 August 2011 at a tavern in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, where he and his friends were enjoying themselves.
In recent years, South Africa has had its fair share of disasters (Afrikaans: “rampe”).

Letters - May 2020

My chains are gone I've been set free My God, my Saviour has ransomed me And like a flood, His mercy rains Unending love, Amazing Grace
Read More Maj-Gen Tertius Geldenhuys (7 May 1955 to 14 April 2020)
The South African Police Service mourns the tragic loss of Maj-Gen Tertius Geldenhuys who passed away on 14 April 2020.
Oom Piet Kleu, a 94-year-old former provincial road traffic inspector, invited by Daniel Seevaraj, a former police member who also became a prominent senior Pietermaritzburg road traffic inspector, graced our presence at our last meeting of retired police officers at Chistlehurst Academics and Arts.
Read More Huldeblyk - Jan Willem (Toffie) Jansen van Vuuren (6 Januarie 1952 - 18 Maart 2020)
”Dis die enigste manier om vooruit te gaan in die lewe - studeer, studeer, studeer … Studies gee vir mens kennis, en kennis is mag.”
May 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.