• 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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- S v Melvino White Case No CA & R08/2021, 20 January 2021 (ECG)

Introduction
Mr Melvino White, the accused, appeared before the regional court in East London (“the trial court”) charged with a contravention of section 55(a) (see infra), read together with section 3 (see infra) of the Criminal Law (Sexual and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007) (hereinafter referred to as Act 32 of 2007).

The accused first appeared before the trial court on 21 November 2019. After several postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unavailability of forensic DNA results, the matter proceeded to go on trial a year later on 23 November 2020.

On the latter date the accused was legally represented. He pleaded guilty to a contravention of section 5(1) of Act 32 of 2007 infra.

Relevant legislation
Section 55 of Act 32 of 2007 provides as follows:

“55. Attempt, conspiracy, incitement or inducing another person to commit sexual offence

Any person who -

(a) attempts;

(b) conspires with any other person; or

(c) aids, abets, induces, incites, instigates, instructs, commands, counsels or procures another person, to commit a sexual offence in terms of this Act [32 of 2007], is guilty of an offence and may be liable on conviction to the punishment to which a person convicted of actually committing that offence would be liable.”

(Emphasis added and particulars in square brackets inserted by Pollex.)

Section 3 of Act 32 of 2007 provides as follows:

“Rape

3. Any person (‘A’) who unlawfully and intentionally commits an act of sexual penetration with a complainant ('B') without the consent of B, is guilty of the offence of rape.”

Section 5(1) of Act 32 of 2007 provides as follows:

“Sexual assault

5(1) A person (‘A’) who unlawfully and intentionally sexually violates a complainant

(‘B’) without the consent of B, is guilty of the offence of sexual assault.

(2) …”

(Letters in round brackets are those by the legislature. These latter sections 3 and 5(1) of Act 32 of 2007, must, of course, be read with the word definitions of “sexual penetration”, “complainant”, “sexual offence” and “sexual violation” as they appear in section 1 of Act 32 of 2007.)

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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.