• 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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By Kotie Geldenhuys

In the early morning hours of 2 June 2019, Bernard Groenewald, a truck driver, pulled over along the N1 near Touws River in the Western Cape, when a petrol bomb was thrown into his truck. As he tried to jump out of his truck to escape, he broke his ankle and was unable to flee the scene. While he was on the ground, another petrol bomb was thrown at him. On 14 June 2019, he died due to the multiple injuries he had sustained (Kassen, 2019). There are many workers like Bernard and other employees in several other work environments, who are risking their lives to earn a living.

The general perception about violence relates to physical assault or even murder. However, workplace violence is an important subdivision of violence which describes any act in which a person is abused, threatened, intimidated or assaulted in his or her place of employment. Rumours, swearing, verbal abuse, pranks, arguments, property damage, vandalism, sabotage, pushing, theft, physical assault, psychological trauma, anger-related incidents, rape, arson and murder are all examples of workplace violence (CCOHS, Nd). The extent of workplace violence in South Africa is unclear, but every year, millions of American workers report to be victims of workplace violence. In 2018, workplace assaults in the USA resulted in 20 790 injuries and 453 fatalities (https://injury-facts.nsc.org/work safety topics/assault).

The term “workplace violence” can be confusing. What is perceived as workplace violence in the field of healthcare, is not necessarily perceived as workplace violence in policing. For example, when a police official is hit or pushed by a detainee or a community member, the police official may not regard it as workplace violence, but when a nurse is hit or pushed by a patient, the nurse will most probably perceive it as workplace violence. To police officials there is a contradiction with regard to what may be regarded as acceptable behaviour or what is regarded as normal or abnormal behaviour in the workplace. Police officials often find themselves at the receiving end of violence while in contact with criminals or suspects. As a result, police officials may not view workplace violence as a criminal act worthy of being reported. Police officials perceive violent incidents as an everyday part of their job. In the majority of cases, community members who act violently towards police officials when facing arrest, will be charged with resisting arrest rather than being charged with assaulting a police official. Ensuring the safety of the community does not mean that police officials become immune to the violence that can be perpetrated by those they must keep safe. Policing itself exposes police officials to danger, where they become targets and victims of workplace violence. However, in policing, safety from harm cannot be guaranteed (Mabunda, 2019).

Workplace violence, in the field of threat assessment, is defined as any actual, attempted or planned violence towards another. It includes communication or behaviour which cause others to fear for their safety and includes sexual violence and workplace bullying. It is any act where a person is abused, threatened, intimidated, sexually harassed or assaulted in his or her workplace (Labuschagne, Nd).

Victims of workplace violence
Although no occupation is immune to workplace violence, some occupations tend to be more at risk than others. This includes employees who:

  • handle money or valuables such as cashiers, transport workers, cash-in-transit employees, bank and post office staff, pharmacists and shop assistants;
  • provide care, advice, education and training such as nurses, ambulance staff, social workers and teachers;
  • carry out inspections or enforcement duties such as police and traffic officials;
  • work with mentally disabled, psychiatric, drunk or potentially violent people such as correctional officials, bar tenders and mental health workers; and
  • work alone such as taxi drivers, domestic workers and domestic repair workers (Mabunda, 2019).


[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: October 2020. The rest of the article discusses different types of workplace violence; the factors that contribute to such violence; the issue of vicarious liability; the effect of workplace violence; and how to deal with such violence. If you are interested in reading the full article, send an email 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. 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.