• 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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- amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC* and Another v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Others; Minister of Police v amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC* and Others CCT 278/19 AND CCT 279/19 dated 4 February 2021 Constitutional Court (CC)

The applicants, namely amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC* and Mr Stephen Sole - a journalist who had been the subject of state surveillance* - approached the High Court in Pretoria (“the High Court”) on the basis of a number of constitutional challenges to the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act 70 of 2002 (hereinafter referred to as “RICA”)*.

The High Court upheld (confirmed/maintained [Afrikaans: “bekragtig”]) the following challenges, namely –

(1) RICA makes no provision for a subject of surveillance ever to be notified that he or she has been subjected to surveillance (the notification issue);

(2) RICA permits a member of the Executive* (Cabinet Minister) unfettered (unrestrained/unrestricted) discretion to appoint and renew the term of the designated Judge - to whom reference is made in RICA and who is the functionary responsible for issuing directions for the interception of private communications (inter alia, lawful telephone tapping), and thus fails to ensure the independence of the Designated Judge (independence issue);

(3) RICA lacks any form of adversarial (opposed/hostile/involving conflict or opposition) process or other mechanism to ensure that the intended subject of surveillance is protected in ex parte (as the sole interested party/ by or from one party only) application process (the ex parte issue); and

(4) RICA lacks adequate safeguards for examining, copying, sharing, sorting through, using, destroying and/or fails to provide any special circumstances where the subject of surveillance is a journalist or practising lawyer (practising lawyers and journalist issue).

Accordingly, be reminded that the High Court declared RICA unconstitutional to the extent of the four failures supra.

As is required by section 172(2) of our Constitution, the High Court referred its findings to our Constitutional Court (“the Concourt”) for confirmation or otherwise.

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[This is only an extract of this legal discussion published in Servamus: May 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.