• 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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- S v Zabathini Jonas Case No: CA & R 99/17 dated 19 July 2019 (NCK)

Mr Zabathini Jonas, the accused, was convicted in the regional court, sitting at the town of Phillipstown in the Northern Cape Province (“the trial court”), of two counts of rape, in circumstances where the provisions of section 51 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997 (also referred to as the “Minimum Sentences Act”) applied. The circumstances were that the complainant was raped more than once and that it involved the infliction of grievous bodily harm to her. In the result, the trial court “took the two counts together for purposes of sentence whereupon the accused was sentenced to life incarceration on each count”.

On appeal, by the accused, against both the conviction and sentence before the High Court in Kimberley (“the court of appeal”), the court of appeal sketched the following brief background to this case, namely that it was widely known in the small town of Petrusville* in the Northern Cape, that the 24-year-old female complainant, openly led her life as a lesbian; that, according to the complainant’s neighbour, she dressed up and walked like a man; that she had a masculine short haircut; that she bore an uncanny male appearance; and that what happened to her (the rape) was purely motivated by her sexual orientation which the accused was fully alive to.

(Emphasis added.)

According to the medical doctor who examined the complainant after she was raped, he explained that in his 23 years of experience as a physician, the complainant was the most traumatised patient he ever examined due to the extensive pain that she endured. This was an exceptional case where he had to administer

10 mg of Valium intravenously to calm her down because she was in a state of emotional shock. The doctor intimated that with consensual sexual intercourse he would not have arrived at the clinical findings he made. The nature of the injuries he observed were strongly associated with forced penetration and he said that it was highly improbable that the intercourse was consensual. It was possible, he said that the patient would have lost consciousness during the act.

(Emphasis added.)

Of importance to readers of this column, is the evidence given by the accused in the trial court.

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[This is only an extract of the discussion of this court case that is published in Servamus: July 2020. If you are interested in reading the rest of this discussion, please send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact the office at tel: (012) 345 4660. 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.