• Would you know what your job entailed if you did not have a proper job description (JD) detailing what your employer expects of you? Read about the value of job descriptions in this 2-part article published in Servamus: October and November 2020.

  • Operation O Kae Molao is a weekly crime prevention and crime combating campaign held in Gauteng. This integrated law enforcement operation targets various crimes across the province. Read more about the successes achieved in Servamus: November 2020.

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By Kotie Geldenhuys

Let us be honest, many people have a love-hate relationship with insurance companies, often because they believe that they were not paid what was due to them after having submitted a claim. And then some of them are even quick to brag about how they have claimed more money from their short-term insurer than what was legally due to them as a result of the losses they had suffered following a burglary. Even if these people are then informed that they have committed insurance fraud in the process, they would not consider themselves as white-collar criminals. Those are the same types of criminals who are committing commercial crime along with those who commit corruption, extortion, money laundering, embezzlement, Internet fraud, forgery and tax evasion.

The Insurance Information Institute, based in New York, informs us that insurance fraud takes place when claimants attempt to gain benefits to which they are not entitled (III, 2020). The website FindLaw.com further explains that fraud in the context of insurance refers to any duplicitous act performed with the intent to obtain an improper payment from an insurer (https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal charges/insurance fraud.html). Fraud may be committed at different points in the transaction by applicants, policyholders, third-party claimants or professionals who provide services to claimants. The Insurance Information Institute adds that insurance fraud is not always perpetrated against the insurance company, it can also be perpetrated by an insurance company against the insured through policy churning or misleading insurance selling or by an independent agent or broker (III, 2020).

Types of insurance fraud
Insurance fraud comes in all shapes and sizes and there are countless ways in which to commit insurance fraud. According to Garth de Klerk, the CEO of the Insurance Crime Bureau (ICB), insurance fraud is committed in two ways: those who take out policies disingenuously with the intention of stealing; and those with existing policies who pretend either something was stolen when it was not or who over-inflate the values in their claims when something has legitimately been stolen (De Klerk, 2018). Insurance fraud occurs in all areas and includes:

  • life insurance through death and funeral claims, disability claims and retrenchment claims;
  • short-term insurance through vehicle claims, house content, building claims and travel claims; and
  • healthcare insurance.

During a conference hosted by the Insurance Crime Bureau in March 2020, Sedick Isaacs from the Bryte Insurance Company, mentioned soft fraud and hard fraud. Soft fraud is common and usually occurs when a policyholder exaggerates a legitimate claim to “get their money’s worth”. We can argue that soft fraud occurs when ordinary “honest” people tell “little white lies” to their insurance company for the purposes of filing or maximising a claim. For example, when a person’s house was burgled and they claim for more items than those that were actually stolen. Many people think this is a harmless act, but soft fraud is a crime and this seemingly minor offence collectively increases everyone else’s insurance premiums. Hard fraud happens when someone deliberately fakes an accident, injury, theft, arson or other loss to collect money illegally from insurance companies (https://criminal.findlaw.com/ criminal charges/insurance fraud.html). Organised crime rings increasingly stage large schemes to steal millions of rand from insurance companies.

The impact of insurance fraud
We have become accustomed to a general increase in the majority of crime categories during the annual release of the crime statistics by the SAPS. These statistics usually make for shocking reading, but what is the impact on the insurance industry?

Although insurance fraud is often taken lightly, the consequences are incredibly serious. Insurance fraud has a major impact on all stakeholders and it is ultimately the premium-paying customers who suffer most, as they carry the cost of ever-increasing premiums. An article published on Moneyweb dated 7 July 2009 stated that crime has a significant impact on the price that consumers pay for cover. “In fact, crime is one of the three main factors influencing the cost of short-term insurance. Unfortunately, short-term insurance premiums will continue to increase as long as crime, violence and fraud continue to escalate,” the article reads (Moneyweb, 2009).

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: August 2020. The rest of the article discusses the impact of insurance fraud; short-term insurance fraud: arson and vehicle fraud; life insurance fraud: buying and renting corpses, funeral insurance fraud and murder for insurance money; and misrepresentation. If you are interested in reading the comprehensive article, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact Servamus’s office at tel: (012) 345 4660/41. Ed.]

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Servamus - November 2020

The job of a "private investigator" or PI is synonymous with images of the sexy Thomas Magnum, a former Navy seal, who drives around in a red Ferrari on the beautiful island of Hawaii, in the similarly named television series Magnum PI.
By Annalise Kempen
For many years South Africa has been experiencing considerably higher levels of crime.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Madoda Magadla, a 50-year-old man from Daveyton, who was accused of stealing a television, was executed by an angry mob who assaulted him in the yard of the family home where the television set allegedly went missing.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Crime is a global challenge that threatens safety and security within communities, and the peace and stability of the country.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - November 2020

Read More - Minister of Police and Another v Stanfield and Others (1328/2018) [2019] ZASCA 183 (2 December 2019) SCA)
Introduction Section 31 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows:
Read More - S v Motladile 2019 (1) SACR 415 (FB)
Intention to possess drugs Section 4(b) of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992 (hereinafter referred to as the “Drugs Act”) which is, inter alia, about the illegal possession of undesirable dependence-producing substances, does not give an emphatic or explicit indication that “intention” (dolus) is the required form of fault (mens rea) for such an offence.
Read More - S v Van Helsdingen Case No: AR 566/18 dated 17 August 2020 (KZP)
The accused was charged before the regional court, Newcastle in KZN (“the trial court”) with 1225 counts of contravening various provisions of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 (hereinafter referred to Act 32 of 2007), and the Films and Publications Act 65 of 1996.
Read More - S v Radebe and Others 2019 (1) SACR 565 (FB)
Background On 13 June 2012, four accused persons (hereinafter referred to as “appellants”), were convicted by a single judge of the High Court in Bloemfontein (“the trial court”) of the following offences namely, count 1: housebreaking with intent to murder and murder; and count 5: public violence*.
By now it is well-known that Lt-Col Charl Kinnear (52) was shot and killed outside his house in Bishop Lavis in the Cape Peninsula on Friday 18 September 2020, just after 15:00 in what appeared to be an assassination (Afrikaans: “sluipmoord”).

Letters - November 2020

It has come as a shock to the public as well as to members of the SAPS to witness the number of senior police members who have been arrested during recent months for their alleged involvement in tender fraud.
NAME: W/O L H Zandberg STATION: Pretoria Central SAPS
November 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.