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- S V Kruse 2018 (2) SACR 644 (WCC)

Mr Kruse, the accused, is deaf and mute (Afrikaans: “doofstom”). He was convicted in the Wynberg regional court in the Cape Peninsula (“the trial court”) of the murder of the late Nashief Davids which took place at Eastridge in Mitchells Plain. The accused was 62 years old at the time of his trial.

The accused was legally represented throughout his trial. His defence was that he was acting in private defence (Afrikaans: “noodweer”). The accused was subsequently sentenced to 15 years’ incarceration.

On appeal by the accused against both his conviction and sentence before the High Court in Cape Town (“the court of appeal”), the question was whether or not the accused was afforded a fair trial.

It appeared that the accused was not born deaf and mute, but started experiencing hearing loss around Gr 5 and gradually lost his hearing and speech abilities. He can, however, read and write.

While in Gr 7 he lost his hearing completely whereupon he was sent to the De la Bat School for the deaf in Worcester in the Western Cape Province, but he only spent six months there. He had never had any formal training in sign language (Afrikaans: “gebaretaal/tekentaal”).

A sign language interpreter was duly sourced, but when the trial was set to commence, the accused, through this interpreter informed the trial court that he did not understand sign language well and could not follow proceedings. Accordingly, the accused requested that an interpreter by the name of Mr Anthony Salie from the De la Bat School supra, and/or the accused’s son, assist as interpreters. The trial court refused both these requests.

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[This is an extract of the discussion of this court case that is published in Servamus: October 2020. If you are interested in reading the rest of the discussion, contact Servamus’s offices by sending an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phoning (012) 345 4660. Ed.]

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Servamus - October 2020

In the early morning hours of 2 June 2019, Bernard Groenewald, a truck driver, pulled over along the N1 near Touws River in the Western Cape, when a petrol bomb was thrown into his truck. As he tried to jump out of his truck to escape, he broke his ankle and was unable to flee the scene.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
On 6 September 2020, the SAPS commemorated the lives of 40 police officials who had paid the highest price during the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.
By Annalise Kempen
The untimely death of Suna Venter, an SABC journalist, in June 2017, is confirmation that threat assessment and management in the workplace is essential.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
We are all familiar with the term “bullying” and all too often images of learners who are bullied by teasing, isolation and physical assaults, come to mind.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - October 2020

Read More - Pretorius and Others v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Others 2018 (2) SACR 501 (GP)
Three applicants, who are all members of the same family, were involved in this application before the High Court in Pretoria.
Read More - S V M 2018 (2) SACR 573 (SCA)
Relevant legislation Section 194 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows:
Read More - Rautenbach v Minister of Safety and Security (nowadays called the Minister of Police) 2017 (2) SACR 610 (WCC)
Introduction Mr Rautenbach instituted civil action for damages in the sum of R346 750 against the Minister of Police before the High Court in Cape Town arising from Mr Rautenbach’s alleged unlawful arrest and detention at the local police station in Mossel Bay*.
Read More - S V Kruse 2018 (2) SACR 644 (WCC)
Mr Kruse, the accused, is deaf and mute (Afrikaans: “doofstom”).

Letters - October 2020

Congratulations to the subscribers who won the following books in this year’s book competitions:
It is with deep regret and much sadness that I learnt of the passing of W/O Herman de Bruin on 7 September 2020.
October 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.