• Too many street children resort to sniffing glue to help them to forget about the pain, cold and even abuse they have to suffer. We explore their world in an article featured in Servamus: May 2021.

  • The reality about the persistent demand for babies due to people who cannot have their own, has resulted in a market for “human fertility”. We explore this shocking reality in the May 2021 issue of Servamus.

  • Perfect parents do not exist, but parents can be guided in doing their best to help their children to grow up to become responsible and law-abiding citizens. In the May 2021 issue of Servamus we provide our readers with a parenting guide.

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By Kotie Geldenhuys

When crimes are committed, the first thing criminals want to do is to get rid of the evidence that would link them to that crime. That is why some of them will wear gloves or hoodies, they will try to wash off blood and cover their tracks. But, eventually, chances are that they will be caught as there is no such thing as a perfect crime. Sometimes the smallest and seemingly insignificant thing can result in a conviction and prosecution. Knots and ligatures are examples of those common oversights, turned evidence.

The analysis of knots and ligatures can be relevant in civil cases, such as where safety equipment has failed resulting in an accident that led to injury or death. The activity under investigation could either be recreational such as in the case of rock climbing or professional, such as at high construction sites (Chisnall, Nd). Yet, knots and ligatures can be found at crime scenes and death involving strangulation, autoerotic fatalities, murder, rape, robbery or at suicide sites. Knots and ligatures fulfil a variety of roles in criminal acts and may be used to bind, restrain, strangle or hang victims. Investigation and analysis of these knots and ligatures could lead to useful evidence.

Ligatures on a crime scene
Ligatures can be made from rope, electric cables, nylon, clothing, bed sheets, chains, dog leads, washing lines, luggage straps, and various other objects. These can be important physical evidence where the perpetrator may have prepared for an attack and was armed with a ligature, such as a rope, but he or she may also use what is at hand, such as an electric cord. However, a perpetrator may carry traces of the ligature material from the crime scene which can link him or her to the crime scene. This can be used, for example if the perpetrator's clothing is examined (Encyclopedia.com, 2020).

A ligature is generally used by making a knot within the material. The different types of knots which can be identified by the forensic expert may reveal certain characteristics of the person who tied it, such as their knot-tying skills, trade and hobbies. Both the ligature from which the knot is made, as well as the knot could be important physical evidence (Encyclopedia.com, 2020).


[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: September 2020. Who would have thought that there is science behind knots and ligatures? If you are interested in reading the rest of the article and learning about the role this plays in bringing criminals to book, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact Servamus’s office at tel: (012) 345 4660/41. Ed.]

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Servamus - May 2021

This tweet left me with much to think about: “So my 8 year old met the guy in my life for the first time and he asked him for permission to call him dad.
By Annalise Kempen
South Africa is not only one of the countries with the highest crime rates in the world, but also with the highest rate of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) globally.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
In April 2021, a video showing a Grade 10 learner being bullied in full view of her peers at a secondary school in Limpopo, went viral on social media.
By Sas Otto
Infertility or the desire to have a child has resulted in many babies ending up as commodities for sale on the black market.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - May 2021

Read More - Doorewaard and Another v the State (Case No 908/2019) [2020] ZASCA 155 (27 November 2020) and 2021(1) SACR 235 (SCA
ntroduction Mr Pieter Doorewaard (accused 1) and Mr Philip Schutte (accused 2) were convicted before the High Court in Mahikeng in the North West Province (“the trial court”) on five counts, namely murder; kidnapping; intimidation; theft and illegal pointing of a firearm.
Read More - S v Lekeka 2021 (1) SACR 106 (FB)
Mr Molefe Edward Lekeka, the accused, was convicted by the regional court in Bethlehem in the Free State (“the trial court”), of count 1, housebreaking with intent to contravene section 3 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 (hereinafter referred to as Act 32 of 2007), and count 2, contravening section 55(a) of Act 32 of 2007.
Read More - amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC* and Another v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Others; Minister of Police v amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC* and Others CCT 278/19 AND CCT 279/19 dated 4 February 2021 Constitutional Court (CC)
The applicants, namely amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC* and Mr Stephen Sole - a journalist who had been the subject of state surveillance* - approached the High Court in Pretoria (“the High Court”) on the basis of a number of constitutional challenges to the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act 70 of 2002 (hereinafter referred to as “RICA”)*.

Letters - May 2021

I endorse the sentiments of Jay Jugwanth about the absence of the Police Minister and MEC at the home of Sgt Paul.
On 11 March 2021, a closely-knit family was robbed of its nucleus, D/Sgt Jeremy Paul, who was ambushed and murdered while tracing a suspected in Swapo, an informal settlement in Pietermaritzburg.
Losing Louis has been very difficult for both myself, my sons, Jordan aged 14 and Jared aged 12. Louis contracted Covid-19 at the beginning of December 2020, and became too weak to fight anymore.
May 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.