• Do you know about the different types of spyware, its dangers and how you can protect yourself? The article published from p15 in Servamus: October 2021, will provide readers with valuable information about this dangerous software.

  • Along with family and colleagues, Servamus pays tribute to police members who have lost their lives in the line of duty – and to COVID-19. Our article published from p44 in Servamus: October 2021 reminds readers about the dangers our members face each day.

  • The Cybercrimes Act 19 of 2020 has been promulgated and will soon come into operation. Our legal discussion will help readers to understand this new legislation and is published from p22 in Servamus: October 2021.

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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?

None of these families have received any answers about what had happened to their loved ones, but they hope and pray that one day these cases, along with hundreds of other cold cases will be solved and that justice will be served.

The term “cold case” creates the perception that it only refers to an old, unsolved murder. But the term “cold case” not only pertains to murder as it includes missing persons, unidentified deceased persons, undetermined deaths and criminal sexual assault cases. Every unresolved case represents a person, the victim’s family, friends and community.

There is no universal definition of a cold case. Oxford Languages defines a cold case as “an unsolved criminal investigation which remains open pending the discovery of new evidence”. The National Police Foundation (2020) in Washington defines cold cases as “unsolved murders, long-term missing persons/unidentified persons, undetermined deaths and open sexual assault cases”. A criminal case that goes to trial and does not result in a conviction can also be evaluated as a cold case and be “kept on the books pending the delivery of new evidence” (Laws.com, 2019). It seems clear from these definitions that a cold case is an unsolved criminal or suspected criminal case (in the case of missing persons).

A large number of serious crimes, such as murders, remain unsolved (or are going cold) in many countries, including developed countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK. “In the USA, one in three murders is never solved. Only if there is hard evidence linking an individual to a murder can the police solve the case. If a body is found and there are no witnesses or any indications of who committed the murder, it can be very difficult for the police to identify a suspect,” says Gareth Newham from the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) (Mkhuma, 2015). Sadly, the situation in South Africa is not much different as the majority of serious crimes remain unsolved. The latest SAPS Annual Report for the 2019/2020 financial year indicate that only 36.17% of suspects (751 720 from a total of 2 078 225) are detected in serious crimes such as murder, attempted murder and rape (SAPS, 2020a).

When are case dockets “closed”?
A case can become cold when there is a lack of evidence, strained resources, ineffective investigation (such as contaminated crime scenes and evidence) and initial efforts to solve a case prove ineffective (Davis, Jensen and Kitchens, 2012). These cases are typically closed, but can be reopened at any time when new evidence surfaces.

According to the South African Police Service Standing Order (General) 325, a case can be closed as “withdrawn” where the police “considers a prosecution undesirable” and the docket has been sent to the public prosecutor who declines to prosecute. A case can also be withdrawn where the complainant requests the charges to be withdrawn. This only applies to cases “of no consequence” and “... shall not be permitted in a serious case, or in any other case if the circumstances are such that, in the interests of public justice, the charge should be proceeded with”. The complainant must request the withdrawal in writing and provide reasons for this request. The Standing Order makes it clear that “on no account should the police suggest to a complainant that he or she should withdraw a charge” (Smythe, 2015).


[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: September 2021. If you are interested in reading the rest of the article, send an email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out what you need to do. This article discusses the establishment of cold case teams in the police; the investigation of these cases and how science can be utilised to help solve these cold cases.]

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Servamus - October 2021

The Internet has opened up massive communication and business opportunities to billions of people across the globe.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Cyberspace continues to revolutionise the way we all live, work and play and with it comes great opportunity for economic prosperity, job creation and technological innovation to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges such as tackling COVID-19, which has been a shared challenge across the world.
By Victoria White, First Secretary (Cyber), British High Commission Pretoria and Peter Goodman, Strategic Advisor to the UK Digital Access Programme
As if the protests and looting in KwaZulu-Natal in July 2021 were not enough to paralyse port operations in Durban for more than a week, Transnet, which is responsible for handling the commercial sea route, was also targeted on 22 July 2021 with a strain of ransomware.
Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys
Whenever the term “forensics” is used, one is reminded about the Locard exchange principle of “every contact leaves a trace” which states that no perpetrator can leave a crime scene without leaving some trace.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - October 2021

Background On 31 March 2017, Mr Nolan van Schalkwyk, the accused, and another man (hereinafter referred to as “the second assailant”) attempted to rob the complainant, who was walking towards the Rentech Station in the Belhar area in the Cape Peninsula at around 06:15, while on his way to work. It was still completely dark.
Relevant law Section 86 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 (hereinafter referred to as “the ECT Act”) provides as follows:

Letters - October 2021

It’s with great pleasure that I write this e-mail to you.
“GUN FREE SOUTH AFRICA welcomes draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill” When I receive Servamus in the post, at the first opportunity, I remove the wrapping and scan through the contents. Typically, the in-depth reading would take place later.
October 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.