• SABRIC recently released its annual banking crime statistics. We inform you about the banking-related crimes that increased and decreased so that you can mitigate the risks. Read the article published in Servamus: August 2020 on p40 to p41.

  • Do you have a problem with gambling? We provide tips on how to identify if you have a problem; remind you about legal versus illegal gambling/betting and where to get help. Read the article published in Servamus: August 2020 on p50 to p53.

  • Chief Kenny Africa, also known as Mr 24-7 has served the road safety community for more than four decades. He retired on 31 July 2020. Read more about his passions, highlights and the message he has for young traffic officers in an article published in Servamus: August 2020 on p58 and p59.

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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).


[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 - August 2020

Over the last couple of years, far too many institutions and businesses in South Africa have taken on the unmistakable stench of moral rot. Corporate giants such as VBS Mutual Bank, Bosasa and Steinhoff have traded blue chip credibility for white-collar callousness.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
With tax season upon us, many people will again try not to pay the full share of what they owe the taxman in income taxes.
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.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
We all complain about the high costs of private healthcare and the monthly contributions we have to pay.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - August 2020

Again the handing back of the firearm by the SAPS in a domestic violence-related relationship - S v N 2016 (2) SACR 436 (KZP);
Read More - S v Chinridze 2015 (1) SACR 364 (GP)
Introduction In terms of section 51, read together with Part I of Schedule 2 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997 (which provides for discretionary minimum sentences), an accused person who is convicted of rape in contravention of section 3 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007, and where the victim is, inter alia, a person under the age of 16 years or is a person who is mentally disabled as contemplated in section 1(1) of Act 32 of 2007, shall be sentenced to incarceration for life unless, of course, there are substantial and compelling circumstances which justify the imposition of a lesser sentence.
Read More - S v Mnguni 2014 (2) SACR 595 (GP)
Introduction According to section 1 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007, the phrase “person who is mentally disabled” means “a person affected by any mental disability, including any disorder or disability of the mind, to the extent that he or she, at the time of the alleged commission of the offence in question, was -
Read More - Mapodile v Minister of Correctional Services and Others 2016 (2) SACR 413 (GJ)
Mr Mapodile, the applicant in this matter, was serving a sentence in the Johannesburg Medium B Correctional Centre.

Letters - August 2020

Capt Aubrey Moopeloa, the corporate Communication Officer of Evaton SAPS, retired from the South African Police Service on 30 June 2020 after 32 years' service as a dedicated and loyal member.
I would like to suggest that, once COVID-19 is over, a plaque be made, dedicated to all SAPS members who faithfully executed their duties, in response to the call to duty, to serve and protect the people of South Africa during the global pandemic.
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.