• 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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Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys

We are all familiar with the term “bullying” and all too often images of learners who are bullied by teasing, isolation and physical assaults, come to mind. When leaving school, bullied individuals think that they are now entering a life without bullies. Think again. Believe it or not, bullying in the workplace is something which occurs quite frequently. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, more than 60 million working people in the USA are affected by bullying (www.healthline.com/health/workplace bullying#signs).

Although bullying in the workplace does not have a legal definition in South Africa, harassment does. Harassment in the workplace is not confined to sexual harassment, but can take many other forms. According to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) “harassment” includes bullying (CCMA, 2018).

What is workplace bullying?
Vince Scopelliti (2019), a lawyer who also has a degree in Psychology and who is the Managing Director of WISE Workplace, reminds us that workplace bullying is harmful and targeted behaviour that includes:

  • Targeted practical jokes and pranks;
  • being purposely misled about work duties, such as incorrect deadlines or unclear directions;
  • continually being denied requests for time off without an appropriate or valid reason;
  • threats, humiliation and other verbal abuse;
  • withholding information (relevant to a person’s employment or role);
  • humiliation and ridicule;
  • removing responsibility from a person who has earned it;
  • spreading gossip or rumours;
  • ignoring or excluding a worker;
  • making personal insults;
  • shouting at or berating a person;
  • intimidating behaviour;
  • providing hints or signals that a person should resign or abandon their job;
  • reminding a worker constantly of errors or mistakes they have made previously;
  • persistently criticising an employee;
  • imposing unreasonable deadlines;
  • making unfounded allegations;
  • excessively monitoring an employee’s work;
  • putting pressure on an employee not to claim entitlements such as annual leave, sick leave or family responsibility leave;
  • teasing an employee;
  • imposing unreasonable workloads;
  • making threats of violence or engaging in actual abuse; and/or
  • giving overly harsh or unjust criticism.

However, being criticised or monitored does not always refer to bullying. Examples are, objective and constructive criticism and disciplinary action directly related to workplace behaviour or job performance are not considered bullying. But criticism meant to intimidate, humiliate or single out someone without reason would be considered bullying (www.health-line.com/health/workplace bullying#signs).

The bullies
Prof Renata Schoeman, a psychiatrist and associate professor in leadership at the University of Stellenbosch Business School said that psychopaths are not just found in serial killer movies and crime novels. They stalk corporate corridors too, where their trail of destruction might not include murder but can mean the death of productivity, motivation and profits. She refers to the so-called "corporate
psychopaths" and bully bosses. According to her, it is often the leaders who should be at the forefront of reducing workplace conditions that lead to stress and burn-out, who contribute to the problem, rather than to the solution. "We are not talking about the 'difficult' boss here, but the boss who is a bully, many of whom could be defined as corporate psychopaths," she explains (Schoeman, 2019).

Downwards bullying (by bullying bosses) can take many forms. It can include things such as overloading a person with work in the hope that they will fail, or constantly criticising them regarding their work performance, but at the same time not criticising any specific aspect of the work performance. This bullying is done in such a subtle way that nothing specific can be pinpointed and it usually ends where the employee simply resigns without having sufficient grounds or substance to bring a dispute of constructive dismissal against the employer (www.labourguide.co.za/discipline dismissal/373 harassment in the workplace).


[This is an extract from an article published in Servamus: October 2020. If you are interested in reading the rest of this insightful article where we explain the different types of workplace bullies; the cost of bullying and what the law says about workplace bullying, please contact Servamus’s offices via e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phoning (012) 345 4660. 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.