• 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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- Mapodile v Minister of Correctional Services and Others 2016 (2) SACR 413 (GJ)

Mr Mapodile, the applicant in this matter, was serving a sentence in the Johannesburg Medium B Correctional Centre.  The applicant, who is a gay man, approached the High Court in Johannesburg for an order directing the Department of Correctional Services to accommodate him in a single cell, alternatively, in the same cell as inmates of the same sexual preference.

The application was not formally opposed by Correctional Services.

The applicant complained that while he was accommodated in one cell with heterosexual inmates, the inmates regarded him as a woman and continually harassed him. According to the applicant, he had raised the matter with Correctional Services on numerous occasions but had not received a sympathetic hearing.

The representative of the Office of the State Attorney (on behalf of Correctional Services) who was attending to the matter, advised the court that accommodation was available for the applicant in a cell which was occupied by two inmates of the same sexual orientation as his, provided that the applicant was prepared to sleep on the floor as there were insufficient beds in that cell. The applicant agreed to this arrangement.

[This is only an extract of a court case published in Pollex in Servamus: August 2020. If you are interested in reading the rest of this discussion, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Contact Servamus’s office at tel: (012) 345 4660/41. Ed.]

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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.