• Prevention is key to protecting our homes from fire. In this month’s Community Safety Tips published from p52 in Servamus: September 2021, we share information about the common causes of fire and what you have to do in case of fire.

  • It can be a headache for authorities to identify the bodies of deceased persons. article published from p22 in Servamus: September 2021 provides valuable information on how forensic science and databases can be used in the identification process.

  • With their keen sense of smell, biological body-fluid detection dogs play a vital role at rape and murder crime scenes. Our article published from p18 in Servamus: September 2021 explains their training, work and successes along with their human partners.

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By Kotie Geldenhuys

The relatives of a Pietermaritzburg couple, who were shot dead in their bakkie on Old Greytown Road in March 2021, were angry when a young, close relative discovered a video making rounds on social media platforms showing the grisly scene. The video showed the couple’s bloody bodies, while the vehicle’s engine was still running (Kunene, 2021). A similar situation happened in Ohio when the family of a murder victim showed up at the crime scene after reading about it on a social media platform (Witmire, 2017). Situations like these make it clear that some people do not think about the consequences of when they post crime-related information on social media. Clearly, they do not realise the impact their actions can have on the families of victims or how it can possibly hamper the investigation.

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By Kotie Geldenhuys

These days the media is able to cover almost every aspect of the criminal justice system, from the bloody crime scene and the arrest of the perpetrator, to the trial and eventually the sentencing of the perpetrator. This, however, has not always been the case. Not that long ago, the public complained about coverage of crime scenes where bodies and body bags were displayed on television or in newspapers. With news now being available 24/7 on all platforms, the general public demands closer and more detailed coverage of even the most heinous crimes. The public wants to know what is going on. This was evident during the Oscar Pistorius trial which, it is claimed, received more media attention than the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Judge Thokozile Masipa’s banning of blogging and tweeting of graphic evidence by pathologist Gert Saayman gave rise to 2500 articles, news and social media hitting more than 106 000 unique inserts within 24 hours. When Oscar Pistorius vomited in court, it was carried in 2300 news articles and in nine days the media hit the 750 000 article mark (National Press Club, 2015).

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By Kotie Geldenhuys

Blood dripping from stairs like waterfalls and maimed bodies; decomposed bodies covered with maggots; small children crying out in pain after being raped by someone they trus-ted; and women with bruised faces and bodies who shamefully try to hide their pain and humiliation are just a few scenarios that police members come across when they are called to a crime scene. Not all crime scenes look the same: some crime scenes come without the blood and gore, but still have an enormous impact on those who have to deal with them. Imagine having to watch the footage of how a child is raped online or having to inform a pensioner that a thug has scammed them out of their hard-earned retirement money. Crime scenes come in different shapes and sizes and have an impact on police members who have to deal with them regularly.

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By Kotie Geldenhuys

One of the most familiar cold cases, which still boggles South Africans’ minds after all these years, is the Gert van Rooyen and Joey Haarhoff case, when at least six young girls mysteriously disappeared in the late 1980s. Although Gert and Joey committed suicide, since then the girls’ whereabouts are still unknown. This is one of many cold cases the police have been unable to solve. Other cases that remain unsolved is that of Inge Lotz, who was allegedly murdered in her Stellenbosch apartment. And Tracey Thompson’s body that was dumped on a piece of agricultural land just outside Benoni remains a mystery as well. The murderer who had sexually assaulted and chopped off Anika Smit’s hands in her father’s house in Pretoria North in 2010 is yet to be brought to book. Who raped and murdered Aviwe Wellem in her bedroom in Gxarha village in Dutywa in the Eastern Cape? What happened to Amahle Thabethe, an eight-year-old girl who went missing outside her home in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni in 2019 or Natascha Viljoen who disappeared in May 2010, five days after giving birth to her daughter? Where is six-year-old Asheeqah Noordien who went missing in 2005 while playing at a park in Scheldt Walk, Manenberg?

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Servamus - September 2021

The relatives of a Pietermaritzburg couple, who were shot dead in their bakkie on Old Greytown Road in March 2021, were angry when a young, close relative discovered a video making rounds on social media platforms showing the grisly scene.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
These days the media is able to cover almost every aspect of the criminal justice system, from the bloody crime scene and the arrest of the perpetrator, to the trial and eventually the sentencing of the perpetrator.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Blood dripping from stairs like waterfalls and maimed bodies; decomposed bodies covered with maggots; small children crying out in pain after being raped by someone they trus-ted; and women with bruised faces and bodies who shamefully try to hide their pain and humiliation are just a few scenarios that police members come across when they are called to a crime scene.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
One of the most familiar cold cases, which still boggles South Africans’ minds after all these years, is the Gert van Rooyen and Joey Haarhoff case, when at least six young girls mysteriously disappeared in the late 1980s.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - September 2021

Act 7 of 2021 supra appears in English and Afrikaans in Government Gazette No 44650 dated 1 June 2021. It amends the Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998.
This Act 2 of 2020 is discussed comprehensively in Ask Pollex in Servamus: October 2020.
Read More - S v Josephs 2021(1) SACR 450 (WCC)
Relevant legislation Section 302 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows:
Read More - S v Tiry and Eight Others 2021(1) SACR 349 (SCA)
Factual background The principal complainants in this matter are Sasol and Engen who are producers of petroleum products.

Letters - September 2021

When police members turn 60, they are legally obliged to go on pension. Yet, that does not mean that they are "old".
Pollex noticed the following two letters in the regional newspaper Tyger Burger, dated 2 June 2021, which circulates in the Northern Suburbs in the Cape Peninsula.
September 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.