• 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 Klaas, Case No: CC51/2020, dated 30 November 2020, High Court Grahamstown (ECG)

Mr Wandile Klaas, hereinafter referred to as the accused, was convicted by the High Court in Grahamstown (nowadays called Makhanda) of count 1: housebreaking with intent to commit theft; count 2: rape; and count 3: theft.

The accused pleaded guilty to all three counts. As far as the rape count is concerned, the accused, once having broken into the complainant’s house, formulated an intention to rape her which he did twice - first with a condom and the second time without any protection. The accused ejaculated in both instances.

This initial case, namely S v Klaas, took place on 10 March 2013 in Sweetwaters near King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape. It seems, however, that the accused managed to escape detection until, fortuitously (Afrikaans: “toevallig”), during the investigation of another matter in respect of which the accused had been arrested. That was when it was noted that his DNA matched the DNA that was collected in respect of the present case namely, S v Klaas. At the time of this incident, the complainant was a 62-year-old woman.

At the time of this incident, the accused was 24 years old. At the time of the trial he was 32 years old - a difference of seven years (see para [9] of the High Court’s judgment).

During the trial the accused admitted five previous convictions - three of which related to housebreaking with intent to steal and theft.

In considering an appropriate sentence, the High Court remarked that the rape count had to be dealt with in terms of section 51(1) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997 (also referred to as the Minimum Sentences Act) (bearing in mind that the accused had raped the complainant more than once).

For as far as it is relevant to this present case namely S v Klaas, refer to section 51(1) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997 provides as follows:

“51. Discretionary minimum sentences for certain serious offences

(1) Notwithstanding any other law, but subject to subsections (3) and (6) [of this section 51]*, a regional court or a high court shall sentence a person it has convicted of an offence referred to in Part I of Schedule 2 [of this Minimum Sentences Act]* to imprisonment [incarceration] for life.

(2) to (8) …”

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


[This is only an extract of this legal discussion published in Servamus: June 2021. If you are interested in finding out how you can read the rest of this discussion, send an email 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.