• Too many street children resort to sniffing glue to help them to forget about the pain, cold and even abuse they have to suffer. We explore their world in an article featured in Servamus: May 2021.

  • The reality about the persistent demand for babies due to people who cannot have their own, has resulted in a market for “human fertility”. We explore this shocking reality in the May 2021 issue of Servamus.

  • Perfect parents do not exist, but parents can be guided in doing their best to help their children to grow up to become responsible and law-abiding citizens. In the May 2021 issue of Servamus we provide our readers with a parenting guide.

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By Annalise Kempen

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. The series gives viewers the impression that all PIs repurpose the skills they obtained during their former military or law enforcement careers, to assist their clients in getting some form of justice. Their clients usually have a valid reason why they prefer not to involve the police directly or immediately in the investigation. The television series also plays on the love-hate relationship between Magnum and one of Hawaii's top detectives. And, if you are not familiar with Magnum, then surely the name of Sherlock Holmes, a fictional private detective, will ring a bell.

Although crime is rife in South Africa, law enforcement-related careers are not necessarily the most financially rewarding options to choose. Therefore, the majority of private investigators (PIs) have a slim chance of having the same image and lifestyle as their television counterpart, Thomas Magnum. And yet, there are many dedicated individuals who will fight for the greater good to ensure that justice is served, either as law enforcers employed by the State or as private investigators, despite not earning the biggest of salaries. Private investigators are playing an increasingly critical role in the investigation of crime, specifically in terms of financial and cyber-related crime.

Since not everyone is familiar with the world of private investigators in our country, Servamus asked two PIs to share their experiences and comments about this industry. One of the PIs is self-employed, while the other is the CEO of a well-known company that has a number of investigators in their employ.

Defining a private investigator
The legal authority that defines a private investigator is found in section 1(1) of the Private Security Industry Regulation Act 56 of 2001 (hereinafter referred to as the PSIRA Act). It defines a private investigator as follows:

A “person who, in a private capacity and for the benefit of another person, investigates the identity, actions, character, background or property of another person, without the consent of such a person, but does not include –

(a) auditors, accountants, attorneys, advocates or forensic scientists conducting investigations which fall within the normal and reasonable course and scope of their professional functions;

(b) internal investigators conducting normal and reasonable investigations into employee misconduct;

(c) internal investigators conducting investigations which a business, other than an investigating business, may undertake in the course and scope of its normal and reasonable endeavours to safeguard its security, strategic, operational or business interests:

Provided that no person is excluded from the definition of a private investigator if he or she conducts any investigation which falls within the exclusive function of the State;..”

The PSIRA Act makes it clear that performing the functions of a private investigator, is regarded as rendering a “security service”.

Section 20(1) of the PSIRA Act obligates all security services that render such a service for remuneration, reward, a fee or benefit, to be registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA).

“(2) A security business may only be registered as a security service provider -

(a) if all the persons performing executive or managing functions in respect of such security business are registered as security service providers; and

(b) in the case of a security business which is a company, close corporation, partnership, business trust or foundation, if every director of the company, every member of the close corporation, every partner of the partnership, every trustee of the business trust, and every administrator of the foundation, as the case may be, is registered as a security service provider.”

All private investigators need to renew their registration every two years.

It is vital to note that all private investigators have to be registered in their personal capacities which registration is valid for two years. However, a private investigator cannot use his or her personal PSIRA registration to render a service - he or she has to work for a PSIRA registered company with its own unique registration number which has to be renewed annually. PSIRA conducts inspections of all registered private investigation companies' premises.

According to the 2018/2019 Annual Report of PSIRA, 1313 private investigator businesses were registered with PSIRA during the 2017/2018 report year, while the number increased to 1810 during the 2018/2019 report year.

Code of conduct
All security service providers, including private investigators, are subjected to the PSIRA code of conduct. This code gives details about the responsibilities and obligations of a security service provider that performs the functions of a private investigator. Such an investigator -

(a) may not perform any act which interferes with, hinders or obstructs a security service or an organ of State in performing any function that it may lawfully perform, or advise or agree with a client to perform such an act;

(b) may not advise, assist or incite a client or any other person to commit an offence, a delict, breach of contract or any other type of unlawful act;

(c) may not undertake or assist in the entrapment of any person for the purposes of obtaining evidence of an offence, a delict or breach of contract unless such conduct is permitted in terms of law and any official permission that may be legally required, has been obtained;

(d) may not conceal facts regarding the commission of an offence from a security service or any organ of State, or agree with a client to conceal such facts from a security service or any organ of State;..


[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: November 2020. The rest of the article discusses more about the code of conduct for the private security; looks at some of the requirements, skills and qualifications needed for private investigators; discusses the importance of continuous training and accreditation; the law and case law in favour of private investigations; the types of investigation conducted by private investigators. If you are interested in reading the complete article, contact Servamus’s offices by sending an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contacting us at tel: (012) 345 4660/41.]

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Servamus - May 2021

This tweet left me with much to think about: “So my 8 year old met the guy in my life for the first time and he asked him for permission to call him dad.
By Annalise Kempen
South Africa is not only one of the countries with the highest crime rates in the world, but also with the highest rate of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) globally.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
In April 2021, a video showing a Grade 10 learner being bullied in full view of her peers at a secondary school in Limpopo, went viral on social media.
By Sas Otto
Infertility or the desire to have a child has resulted in many babies ending up as commodities for sale on the black market.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - May 2021

Read More - Doorewaard and Another v the State (Case No 908/2019) [2020] ZASCA 155 (27 November 2020) and 2021(1) SACR 235 (SCA
ntroduction 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.
Read More - S v Lekeka 2021 (1) SACR 106 (FB)
Mr Molefe Edward Lekeka, the accused, was convicted by the regional court in Bethlehem in the Free State (“the trial court”), of count 1, housebreaking with intent to contravene section 3 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 (hereinafter referred to as Act 32 of 2007), and count 2, contravening section 55(a) of Act 32 of 2007.
Read More - amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC* and Another v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Others; Minister of Police v amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC* and Others CCT 278/19 AND CCT 279/19 dated 4 February 2021 Constitutional Court (CC)
The applicants, namely amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC* and Mr Stephen Sole - a journalist who had been the subject of state surveillance* - approached the High Court in Pretoria (“the High Court”) on the basis of a number of constitutional challenges to the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act 70 of 2002 (hereinafter referred to as “RICA”)*.

Letters - May 2021

I endorse the sentiments of Jay Jugwanth about the absence of the Police Minister and MEC at the home of Sgt Paul.
On 11 March 2021, a closely-knit family was robbed of its nucleus, D/Sgt Jeremy Paul, who was ambushed and murdered while tracing a suspected in Swapo, an informal settlement in Pietermaritzburg.
Losing Louis has been very difficult for both myself, my sons, Jordan aged 14 and Jared aged 12. Louis contracted Covid-19 at the beginning of December 2020, and became too weak to fight anymore.
May 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.