• 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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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 - 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.