• Plants can play a vital role in linking individuals to crime scenes: from the leaves we step on to the pollen that stick to our clothes. If you are curious about the secret language of plants and the link to crime scenes, be sure to read the article about Forensic Botany published in Servamus: September 2020.

  • Forensics is a fascinating science with a variety of subdisciplines that are used to link an individual to a crime scene. In an article published in Servamus: September 2020, we highlight some of the lesser known forensic disciplines.

  • Wildlife crime can be fought by using forensics, such as in poaching incidents where forensics is used to link seized rhino horn or ivory to a crime scene. If you want to read about the development of wildlife forensics, be sure to read the article in Servamus: September 2020.

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During February 2020, Tazne van Wyk, an eight-year-old girl from Elsies River in the Cape, went missing. After two weeks her partially decomposed body was found in a drain pipe near the town of Worcester.

According to media reports, a 54-year-old male suspect was arrested in connection with the disappearance of Tazne. He has since appeared in court on charges of kidnapping and murder. At the time of committing the alleged offences supra, the suspect was out on parole.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that we hear of a parolee who committed offences while on parole. Refer in this regard to Naidu v Minister of Correctional Services 2017 (2) SACR 14 (WCC) which Pollex discussed in Servamus: December 2018. In this matter, the plaintiff (Afrikaans: “eiser”) was Ms S C Naidu, an educator from Somerset West in the Western Cape. She instituted civil proceedings before the High Court in Cape Town (“the trial court”) claiming damages (Afrikaans: “skadevergoeding”) in the amount of R1 332 000 from the Minister of Correctional Services. This claim arose from an attack perpetrated upon Ms Naidu in her home on 19 July 2010 by Marius Michaels who had been at the time, out on parole from the Brandvlei Correctional Centre, Worcester since 17 March 2010.

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[This is only an extract of this legal discussion that is published in Servamus: April 2020. If you are interested in reading the rest of the discussion, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out how.]

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Servamus - September 2020

When crimes are committed, the first thing criminals want to do is to get rid of the evidence that would link them to that crime.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
When Albert du Preez Myburgh abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered his close friend's eight-year-old daughter in May 1999, he did not realise that bugs would play a role in his conviction and sentence.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
When Sinja Robin Mabitsela and Josias Xaniseka Mkansi (also known as the Alexandra Balaclava serial rapists) started their raping spree, they did not realise that their DNA would be their downfall.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Imagine how challenging it must be for scientists to identify a victim when only skeleton remains are available… now imagine how much bigger this challenge becomes for forensic anthropologists when only burnt skeleton remains are available and they have to identify these bones.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - September 2020

In Servamus: July 2020, Pollex published a legal quiz regarding the current/recent state of disaster. Please refer to that issue for the questions.

Letters - September 2020

The current COVID-19 pandemic which has affected many and claimed the lives of so many, is still continuing to be a global threat for which there is no cure.
Const Kwayo Louw (23), a policeman from Kraaifontein, was recently commended by the Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz for his exemplary contribution towards his community in Kraaifontein.
Retired W/O Sham Singh, the first Indian Station Commander of Lenasia, celebrated his 80th birthday on 9 July 2020. A milestone birthday for anyone and it was even posted on Facebook.
September 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.