• What is the extent of the illegal organized cigarette trade in South Africa? How much money is lost annually to the South African economy as a result? We answer these and other important questions in an article published in Servamus: January 2021.

  • Servamus subscribers stand the chance of winning a BYRNA Less-lethal firearm (no need for permits). Turn to p21 of Servamus: January 2021 to find out what you need to do to win this awesome prize worth R7500!

  • COVID-19 has exacerbated the threat of crimes that are committed in the pharmaceutical industry, such as counterfeiting and fraud, as large consignments of counterfeit medical products have been distributed. Our article published from p24 in Servamus: January 2021, reveals more details.

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By Kotie Geldenhuys

The concept of organised crime often evokes images of mafia- like figures and secret societies involved in drug trafficking and murder. Globally, this “mafia mystique” is associated with shadowy organisations such as the Chinese triads or Japanese yakuza. However, in South Africa, organised crime makes one think about notorious individuals like Radovan Krejcir, Nafiz Modack and Mark Lifman. These crime bosses have been linked to illicit enterprises, with a group of carefully selected organised crime members and corrupt public officials, law enforcement officers and politicians.

As globalisation has facilitated the flow of people, goods and capital, organised crime groups have become equally mobile. While globalisation has provided new business opportunities for legitimate businesses, it has had the same effect on illicit enterprises, allowing them to expand their illicit markets well beyond their local territories - South Africa has not escaped this effect. Since the end of Apartheid, South Africa, with its open borders, weak criminal justice system and well-developed infrastructure has become a major target for African criminal organisations as well as those from other countries (Aslett, 2018). A few years after South Africa became a democracy, the SAPS claimed in 1997 that 192 organised crime syndicates with a combined figure of 1903 primary suspects were known to be operating in South Africa and were under police surveillance. The majority of these syndicates specialised either in drug trafficking (96 syndicates), vehicle-related crimes (83 syndicates), commercial crime (60 syndicates) or a combination of these crimes. At least 32 of the 192 known organised crime syndicates in South Africa operate internationally (Shaw, 1998). With the ever-expanding Internet and world of technology, these statistics most surely increased. Organised crime groups flourish in developing countries where border controls are weak, corruption is high, law enforcement is declining and trade and communication barriers are removed. Countries such as South Africa can become safe havens for global organised criminal groups because of the increased lawlessness experienced within the country (Aslett, 2018).

Organised crime comes in different forms and is shaped largely by the strength of the state and the degree that political elites and state actors are involved in organised crime themselves. There are well-established and organised mafia style groups such as the hard-core gangs of the Western Cape or militia-style operations engaged in "taxing" local populations and economic activities, both licit and illicit. Then there are highly effective, criminal networks consisting of a range of foreign criminal actors seeking opportunities such as Radovan Krejcir and the group of Serbians who operated close to him such as Dobrosav Gavric (alias Sasa Kovacevic) who worked as driver and bodyguard for the Cape Town underworld boss, Cyril Beeka (Djuricic, 2018). There are also sets of criminal style entrepreneurs, often operating as companies, with a variety of forms of state protection. Here the Guptas and State capture come to mind (Shaw and Reitano, 2019). Although criminal networks are more commonly associated with organised crime including drug trafficking syndicates, gangs on the Cape Flats, cash-in-transit operations and poaching syndicates, groups like housebreaking gangs, cellular phone thieves, second-hand metal dealers and cable thieves also fuel the organised criminal economy (Goga, Nd).

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(This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: December 2020. The rest of the article deals with the structure of an organised crime and becoming a member; how these groups seek to control the markets and do not like competition and keeping the money safe. If you are interested in reading the rest of this 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 offices at tel: (012) 345 4660/22/41. Ed.)

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Servamus - January 2021

A lack of employment and job opportunities is often considered to be an important reason for criminal behaviour.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Towards the end of March 2020, the President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, announced that as of midnight on 26 March 2020, South Africa would go into a "hard lockdown".
By Kotie Geldenhuys
The current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in various lockdown levels across the world, has opened new opportunities for criminals to exploit people - especially in cyberspace.
By Annalise Kempen
Families across the world have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic which will likely have a long-lasting impact on public health and our well-being.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - January 2021

Read More - S v Leshilo (345/2019) [2020] ZASCA 98 (8 September 2020) (SCA)
Mr Moshidi Danny Leshilo (hereinafter referred to as “the accused”), was accused 1 before the regional court, Pretoria (“the trial court”) where he was convicted on 11 June 2014 of housebreaking with the intent to commit an unknown offence in terms of section 262 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (count 1); the unlawful possession of a firearm (count 2); and the unlawful possession of ammunition (count 3).
Read More - S v JA 2017 (2) SACR 143 (NCK)
Mr JA, the accused who is from Port Nolloth on the northern part of the South African west coast, was convicted of rape before the regional court, Springbok in Namaqualand.
Read More - S v Ndlovu 2017 (2) SACR 305 (CC)
Relevant legislation (1) Section 3 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 provides for the offence of rape simpliciter (Afrikaans: “sonder voorbehoud”).

Letters - January 2021

Hearty congratulations to Sgt T S Moletsane of the Beaufort West Stock Theft Unit who was awarded as the Best Member of a Stock Theft Unit - for the fourth consecutive year!
January 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.