• Do you know about the different types of spyware, its dangers and how you can protect yourself? The article published from p15 in Servamus: October 2021, will provide readers with valuable information about this dangerous software.

  • Along with family and colleagues, Servamus pays tribute to police members who have lost their lives in the line of duty – and to COVID-19. Our article published from p44 in Servamus: October 2021 reminds readers about the dangers our members face each day.

  • The Cybercrimes Act 19 of 2020 has been promulgated and will soon come into operation. Our legal discussion will help readers to understand this new legislation and is published from p22 in Servamus: October 2021.

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The first step to ensure justice for victims
By Kotie Geldenhuys

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. A crime scene should always be treated as “holy ground” simply because it is the first step in bringing justice to crime victims.

In the murder case against O J Simpson, a poorly managed crime scene, evidence that was mishandled and the subsequent chain of custody requirements that were not adhered to, resulted in the acquittal of the accused. O J Simpson, a former American football player and actor, was accused of murdering his former wife, Nicole Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in June 1994. He was arrested, but later acquitted as it was revealed in court that the police did not follow proper crime scene investigation procedures (Abdollah, 2014).

The first problem arose when police first responders used the victim, Nicole Simpson’s telephone at the murder scene to report the crime. Through this action, they compromised fingerprints and DNA evidence. The next flaw was when detectives covered Nicole Simpson's body with a blanket which compromised evidence such as fibre and/or hair that could have been used as evidence. The detectives also did not wear any personal protective gear at the scene. A police video taken of the crime scene further showed how investigating officers dropped blood swabs and wiped tweezers with their hands. Approximately three weeks after the murder, a blood stain found on a gate, was swabbed. During the trial, the defence also objected to the fact that crime scene experts did not change their protective gloves between the handling of exhibits and blood samples. According to the defence, this negligent behaviour of crime scene experts was the reason why O J Simpson’s blood was mixed with that of the victim (Innes, 2003).

According to Henry Lee, the forensic expert who testified for the defence during the Simpson trial, there was no lack of evidence but the source of evidence was not always explained and it was not closely tracked. Blood on a pair of socks which was collected from O J Simpson's bedroom, was only noticed two months later at the crime laboratory, resulting in defence experts suggesting that the blood was smeared on the socks while they were lying flat and not while they were worn. The defence also claimed that police forensic examiners did not pack evidence samples properly and also left them in an overheated van on a summer’s day. The majority of the evidence was collected by a novice crime scene examiner. There were also complaints about police detective Philip Vannatter’s actions after he had drawn O J Simpson’s blood at the Los Angeles Police Department on the day after the murders. Instead of booking it into evidence immediately, he had put the blood vial in his pocket and went to Simpson’s home where crime scene examiners were collecting evidence. He carried it around with him for hours resulting in the defence arguing that it may have been used to plant evidence such as blood drops on Simpson’s front walkway (Abdollah, 2014).

The O J Simpson case is a textbook example of what not to do at a crime scene. Sadly, similar mistakes have happened in several South African cases. In the Oscar Pistorius case, for example, SAPS members were criticised for negligent work at the scene of crime. This included that the police failed to find one of the bullets in the toilet cubicle of the en suite bathroom of the accused's bedroom, but which was later found by the defence’s own investigators. There was also a claim that a police official handled the suspected murder weapon without wearing gloves (refer to the Crime Series published in Servamus: August 2016). Proper crime scene management is important to eliminate such serious mistakes by law enforcement officials on a crime scene which can jeopardise the outcome of a case.

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: August 2021. The rest of the article deals with the crime scene as the most important part of the investigation; first responders and first police members on the scene; the crime scene management process and the final walk-through. If you want to find out how you can read 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..]

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Servamus - October 2021

The Internet has opened up massive communication and business opportunities to billions of people across the globe.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Cyberspace continues to revolutionise the way we all live, work and play and with it comes great opportunity for economic prosperity, job creation and technological innovation to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges such as tackling COVID-19, which has been a shared challenge across the world.
By Victoria White, First Secretary (Cyber), British High Commission Pretoria and Peter Goodman, Strategic Advisor to the UK Digital Access Programme
As if the protests and looting in KwaZulu-Natal in July 2021 were not enough to paralyse port operations in Durban for more than a week, Transnet, which is responsible for handling the commercial sea route, was also targeted on 22 July 2021 with a strain of ransomware.
Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys
Whenever the term “forensics” is used, one is reminded about the Locard exchange principle of “every contact leaves a trace” which states that no perpetrator can leave a crime scene without leaving some trace.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - October 2021

Background On 31 March 2017, Mr Nolan van Schalkwyk, the accused, and another man (hereinafter referred to as “the second assailant”) attempted to rob the complainant, who was walking towards the Rentech Station in the Belhar area in the Cape Peninsula at around 06:15, while on his way to work. It was still completely dark.
Relevant law Section 86 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 (hereinafter referred to as “the ECT Act”) provides as follows:

Letters - October 2021

It’s with great pleasure that I write this e-mail to you.
“GUN FREE SOUTH AFRICA welcomes draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill” When I receive Servamus in the post, at the first opportunity, I remove the wrapping and scan through the contents. Typically, the in-depth reading would take place later.
October 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.