• 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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- Doorewaard and Another v the State (Case No 908/2019) [2020] ZASCA 155 (27 November 2020) and 2021(1) SACR 235 (SCA)

Introduction
Mr Pieter Doorewaard (accused 1) and Mr Philip Schutte (accused 2) were convicted before the High Court in Mahikeng in the North West Province (“the trial court”) on five counts, namely murder; kidnapping; intimidation; theft and illegal pointing of a firearm. The trial was a sequel to the much-publicised case of the death of Mathlomola Jonas Mosweu, a 15-year-old boy child (the deceased) who either jumped from the back of a moving bakkie while on its way to the local police station in Coligny, or who was thrown from the bakkie, allegedly by the two accused persons. According to the two accused, they had arrested the deceased (made a citizen’s arrest)* when they noticed him stealing sunflower heads from their employer’s farm (see paragraph [14] of the SCA judgment).

The trial court refused an application for leave to appeal, which was subsequently granted by the Supreme Court of Appeal (“the SCA”).

Here in the SCA, the appeal was heard before a bench of three judges, namely Acting Judge of Appeal A P Ledwaba; Judge of Appeal M B Molemela; and Judge of Appeal V M Ponnan. Each of these three judges delivered their own judgments.

The Ledwaba judgment

After analysing the evidence as presented before the trial court, Judge Ledwaba came to the conclusion that the main witness for the State/prosecution, namely Mr Sibongile Pakisi, was a single witness for whose evidence there was no corroboration (Afrikaans: “stawing”).

Accordingly, the State/prosecution did not prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and that both the accused should therefore be acquitted on all charges (see paragraphs [43] and [44] of the SCA judgment).

The Molemela judgment

According to Judge Molemela, she was inclined to agree with the trial court that the police investigation in this matter was bungled (messed up). However, where Judge Molemela differed with the trial court, is the extent or the impact of such bungling (see para [49] of the SCA judgment). Judge Molemela also disagreed with the criticism by Judge Ponnan’s judgment (see infra), in relation to the trial court’s refusal of the two accused’s application for their discharge at the close of the State/prosecution case as contemplated in section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (see para [53]). Accordingly, Judge Molemela came to the conclusion that only accused 1 (Doorewaard) should have been convicted of culpable homicide and not of murder (see para [74]).

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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.