• 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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May a public school be held liable when things go wrong?
By Annalise Kempen

When the news broke in January 2020 about a schoolboy who had drowned during a school orientation camp in North West, many parents were impacted by the fact that something similar could so easily happen to their own children. And yet, it is a sad fact that the 13-year-old Enoch Mpianzi, who drowned during a Parktown Boys High School orientation camp, was not the first school learner to have died while attending school or a school activity. In fact, by 6 March 2020, Enoch was one of 22 learners who had already died in the Gauteng province for the 2020 school year (Majavu, 2020). One of the other victims was a 14-year-old youth who was in Gr 10 at the Freedom Park Secondary School who was stabbed to death by a fellow learner.

Parents’ important question
When Enoch's death was reported, and even two months after the tragedy when Mr Panyaza Lesufi, the MEC for Education in Gauteng, released an executive summary of a forensic investigation conducted by Harris Nupen Molebatsi Attorneys into the event, the mudslinging continued as to who was to be held responsible for the teenager's death.

The question that many parents grapple with is who is to be held responsible when their children are injured on the schoolgrounds, during school activities, at the school hostel or even when they are assaulted or bullied by a fellow learner. Apart from physical scars or injuries, such a child may be traumatised to such an extent that they suffer psychological damage and must go for counselling. Parents would want to know who would have to pay for the cost of medical or psychological treatment. Another important question is whether schools can force parents or caregivers to sign a form of indemnity to exempt the school from any liability during school activities.

Court case answers some questions
On 15 March 2019, the Grahamstown High Court delivered judgment in a case where a former learner of the Kingswood College in Grahamstown, Lusakhanya Gora, issued summons against Kingswood College as the sole defendant for an incident that occurred on 13 February 2014. What happened was that Lusakhanya was struck in the eye by a fellow learner, Daniel Moore, while they were in class, but without supervision, causing serious injury to Lusakhanya's right eye and resulting in a permanent impairment of his visual ability. Five years after the incident, Lusakhanya Gora sued the Kingswood College and later added the Trustee of the Kingswood Trust as the second defendant and the Kingswood Council as the body corporate created in terms of the Trust as the third defendant.

Mr Gora argued that the injuries he sustained were due to the negligence of the three defendants and its employees in failing to ensure adequate supervision over him and the other learners in his class, including Daniel Moore, by negligently leaving this class unattended for an hour in the absence of the regular teacher. As could be expected, the defendants denied liability, admitting only that the physical altercation between Lusakhanya and Daniel occurred during the temporary absence of the teacher. The defendants denied that they or their employees had acted wrongfully and negligently in leaving the class unattended.

The defendants submitted the enrolment contract which was signed by Lusakhanya's parents before he was admitted to the College as evidence. It was by virtue of this indemnity clause that the defendants pleaded that Mr Gora's claims were excluded. The clause read as follows:
"The applicant hereby indemnifies and agrees to hold harmless the official trustee, the Kingswood College Council, the College, its headmaster and staff, or their authorised agents or representatives, against any and all claims, howsoever arising, including negligence, but not gross negligence, arising out of any injury, death, loss, damage, costs or expense, including legal costs suffered as a result of or during the enrolment of the pupil at Kingswood College.


[This is only an excerpt of an article published in Servamus: May 2020. The rest of the article discusses the applicable law (the Schools Act) and public schools’ responsibilities; parental duties and responsibilities; and what happens if a child is injured or dies during a school activity? 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. to find out what to do. 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.