• Physical evidence is the silent witness in criminal cases which is why it should not be contaminated and why the chain of custody is vital. Read our article published from p20 in Servamus: August 2021 to learn more about evidence and the story it tells.

  • The reconstruction of a crime scene is a vital step to give the court an idea of what happened at a crime scene. Our article published from p34 in Servamus: August 2021 explains what the process entails.

  • Various role-players from within the SAPS can help to provide specialised information about the scene, the victim and the suspect at a crime scene. Our article published from p23 in Servamus: August 2021 highlights these role-players.

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- De Klerk v Minister of Police 2020(1) SACR 1 (CC)

The applicant, Mr Bryan James de Klerk instituted a delictual claim against the Minister of Police in the Pretoria High Court for damages arising from his arrest and detention by a SAPS member. The presiding single judge, however, held that the arrest and subsequent detention were lawful whereupon the claim (by De Klerk) was dismissed. Refer to De Klerk v Minister of Police (77688/2014) [2016] ZAGPPHC 827 (9 September 2016)(GP).

Aggrieved by this outcome, De Klerk appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein (“the SCA”). A full bench of five judges unanimously agreed that De Klerk’s arrest was unlawful and that he was entitled to damages (Afrikaans: “skadevergoeding”) in compensation for it. These five judges, however, differed only on whether the Minister of Police should also be held liable for De Klerk’s unlawful detention after his first appearance in the Randburg Magistrates’ Court in Gauteng.

Three of the five judges (the majority judgment) held that the Minister was liable to compensate De Klerk for his unlawful detention only up and until his appearance in the Randburg court (for a period of approximately two hours), whereupon it awarded De Klerk R30 000 in damages, plus costs. The remaining two judges (the minority judgment) differed in that they held that factual and legal causation (Afrikaans: “oorsaaklike verband/kousaliteit”) for De Klerk’s injury had been established and that they would have awarded De Klerk R300 000 in non-patrimonial damages (not belonging to the paternal heritage). Refer to De Klerk v Minister of Police 2018 (2) SACR 28 (SCA), discussed by Pollex in Servamus: September 2018.

Still not satisfied with this outcome, De Klerk appealed to the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg (“the Concourt”) where the appeal was heard by a bench of ten judges. In a 55 page and 185 paragraphs long judgment, six of the said judges (the majority judgment) gave judgment in favour of De Klerk and ordered that -

(1) The appeal by De Klerk is upheld (in other words his appeal is successful);

(2) the Minister of Police must pay De Klerk an amount of R300 000; and

(3) the Minister of Police must pay the costs of this appeal to the Concourt, as well as the costs before the SCA and the Pretoria High Court, including the costs of two counsel (advocates).

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[This is only an extract of this legal discussion published in Servamus: July 2021. If you are interested in finding out how you can read 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..]

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Servamus - August 2021

Television series have played a significant role in creating public interest about forensic science and the investigation of crime.
By Annalise Kempen
Despite Hollywood’s portrayal in numerous television programmes, crime scene investigation is a difficult and time-consuming task that cannot be completed in a couple of minutes.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Fire and water - two elements of nature that result in opposite reactions: when one stares at a firepit or a bonfire and listens to the sound of water such as a waterfall or waves breaking, it typically makes one calm and relaxed.
By Annalise Kempen
Every crime scene tells a story which is why it is of utmost importance that proper crime scene management is implemented to prevent the destruction of any evidence that might be found at a scene.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - August 2021

In two recent, different and unrelated case law, namely -
Read More - Minister of Transport v Brackenfell Trailer Hire (Pty) Ltd and Other 2021 (1) SACR 463 (SCA)
Role-players in this matter are: National Minister of Transport = the appellant;
Read More - S v Gabani 2021 (1) SACR 562 (ECB)
This Gabani case took place between the Mdantsane Magistrates’ Court and the High Court in Bhisho in the Eastern Cape.

Letters - August 2021

Dudley Maharaj was born in Pietermaritzburg in 1936 and recently turned 85 years of age.
NAME: W/O L H Zandberg STATION: Pretoria Central Magistrates’ Court
August 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.