• 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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May a public school be held liable when things go wrong?
By Annalise Kempen

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. And yet, it is a sad fact that the 13-year-old Enoch Mpianzi, who drowned during a Parktown Boys High School orientation camp, was not the first school learner to have died while attending school or a school activity. In fact, by 6 March 2020, Enoch was one of 22 learners who had already died in the Gauteng province for the 2020 school year (Majavu, 2020). One of the other victims was a 14-year-old youth who was in Gr 10 at the Freedom Park Secondary School who was stabbed to death by a fellow learner.

Parents’ important question
When Enoch's death was reported, and even two months after the tragedy when Mr Panyaza Lesufi, the MEC for Education in Gauteng, released an executive summary of a forensic investigation conducted by Harris Nupen Molebatsi Attorneys into the event, the mudslinging continued as to who was to be held responsible for the teenager's death.

The question that many parents grapple with is who is to be held responsible when their children are injured on the schoolgrounds, during school activities, at the school hostel or even when they are assaulted or bullied by a fellow learner. Apart from physical scars or injuries, such a child may be traumatised to such an extent that they suffer psychological damage and must go for counselling. Parents would want to know who would have to pay for the cost of medical or psychological treatment. Another important question is whether schools can force parents or caregivers to sign a form of indemnity to exempt the school from any liability during school activities.

Court case answers some questions
On 15 March 2019, the Grahamstown High Court delivered judgment in a case where a former learner of the Kingswood College in Grahamstown, Lusakhanya Gora, issued summons against Kingswood College as the sole defendant for an incident that occurred on 13 February 2014. What happened was that Lusakhanya was struck in the eye by a fellow learner, Daniel Moore, while they were in class, but without supervision, causing serious injury to Lusakhanya's right eye and resulting in a permanent impairment of his visual ability. Five years after the incident, Lusakhanya Gora sued the Kingswood College and later added the Trustee of the Kingswood Trust as the second defendant and the Kingswood Council as the body corporate created in terms of the Trust as the third defendant.

Mr Gora argued that the injuries he sustained were due to the negligence of the three defendants and its employees in failing to ensure adequate supervision over him and the other learners in his class, including Daniel Moore, by negligently leaving this class unattended for an hour in the absence of the regular teacher. As could be expected, the defendants denied liability, admitting only that the physical altercation between Lusakhanya and Daniel occurred during the temporary absence of the teacher. The defendants denied that they or their employees had acted wrongfully and negligently in leaving the class unattended.

The defendants submitted the enrolment contract which was signed by Lusakhanya's parents before he was admitted to the College as evidence. It was by virtue of this indemnity clause that the defendants pleaded that Mr Gora's claims were excluded. The clause read as follows:
"The applicant hereby indemnifies and agrees to hold harmless the official trustee, the Kingswood College Council, the College, its headmaster and staff, or their authorised agents or representatives, against any and all claims, howsoever arising, including negligence, but not gross negligence, arising out of any injury, death, loss, damage, costs or expense, including legal costs suffered as a result of or during the enrolment of the pupil at Kingswood College.

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[This is only an excerpt of an article published in Servamus: May 2020. The rest of the article discusses the applicable law (the Schools Act) and public schools’ responsibilities; parental duties and responsibilities; and what happens if a child is injured or dies during a school activity? If you are interested in reading the full article, send an email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out what to do. Ed.]

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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.