The evolution of Private Investigation in South Africa
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The evolution of Private Investigation in South Africa

Source: Chai FM

Chad Thomas

The level of corruption reaches into every corner of the world. Corruption lies at the heart of the most urgent problems we face. Welcome to Confidential Brief, which had Thomas takes you into the stories behind the issues facing our society. Good afternoon. My name is Jack Thomas, and you’re listening to confidential briefs right here on here. We are still broadcasting live, although remotely so. I’d like to apologise for any potential technical glitches in advance. It’s now 10 past 12 on this Monday, the 27th of July.

Chad Thomas

With regards to covid worldwide, we’re looking at almost six million, 300000 cases with close and 650000 deaths in the United States alone. They are looking at about four million three hundred thousand cases of poverty in South Africa. We have been rising steadily as a country with multiple infections, yet one of the lowest mortality rates in the world. We shouldn’t take this for granted. And I know that the most of you out there who are listening are taking every precaution necessary in view of that.

Chad Thomas

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Chad Thomas

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Chad Thomas

And what’s unique about it is that you could also ask for a call in service. So once you’ve made contact with our Our Helpline, our helpline can phone and check in with you every day. And a lot of us are going through loneliness at the moment. That is difficult, not seeing the the normal people being able to sit down at restaurants. So I encourage you to make use of that helpline. I’m going to be chatting to Howard Griffith today.

Chad Thomas

He is an absolute veteran of the private investigation industry in South Africa and a leader. He’s been in the game for more than four decades. So before we chat to Howard, we’re going to take a quick break. Let’s remind you of the views expressed on the show are not necessarily those of him. You’re listening to the confidential brief with Chad Thomas on his FM. Welcome back to them.

Chad Thomas

Chatting to Howard Griffiths, who has been actively involved in the investigations world for over four decades, is currently managing director of SASE Global Investigations, a company which was established as far back as 1962. Apart from both being involved in the private investigation industry, who also both graduates of the South African Institute of Security, Howard was also the past chairman of the starting branch of the South African Security Association, where he sat on the council. He’s a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and he’s also the managing director of Maquettes Data Management.

Chad Thomas

And we chatted about this a little bit later in the show because it’s quite fascinating. It’s an online security data capture, a reporting system. It’s a unique tool that enables the user to capture, store and manage information online. All users are able to securely access the system and users from any place on the planet. And an important matter is going to be chatting about is something that was created many years ago by how whether that is crime stats, South Africa.

Chad Thomas

That’s quite an impressive bio. Howard, welcome to the show. Thanks, Chad, appreciate the opportunity. Thanks for having me on the show. How would I saw in your bio that you started in this industry in the early 1980s, but the company dates back to 1962. How is the company founded?

Howard Griffiths

OK, so the company started in 1962 and was originally a division of Fertility Gods and the two doyennes of the security industry. Back then, infidelity guards were Roy McFarlane and Archie Griffiths, who was my father and the division’s fidelista, because everyone knows what Fidelity does, primarily armed response, guarding cash in transit and so on. But they had this specialised division, which was in investigations and consultancy Curvation. So in nineteen sixty nineteen eighty four, nineteen eighty three, eighty four, I joined the business with my father and it was then bought out from Fidelity Guards and subsequently been in the family really since then.

Howard Griffiths

My father passed on quite a few years back, but I’ve been running the business since then. Archie Roach was a legend in our industry, and I remember the little guy’s head office was still in Hillbrow. I can’t remember if they were still part of the religious group at that stage of their changed ownership, but they were above the golden egg restaurant across some high points. And the armoured division was based in Edith Cavell. And when one thinks of Hillbrow today, no one remembers those days thinking that such a huge organisation was headquartered in Hillbrow.

Howard Griffiths

It takes one back. And tell me more about you. Obviously following in the footsteps of your dad, you decided to get involved in investigations. But was it was it as a result of the fact it was a family business or did you feel the passion to become an investigator? I will say that it’s almost through osmosis that I managed to get into this business, kind of ran in my blood, that my father was a very interesting character. And for those of your listeners that may have had the pleasure of meeting him, he was a real character in the industry.

Howard Griffiths

And he started off with in the Second World War as a paratrooper Pathfinder and went on to fight in Palestine and Java and ended up in Kenya as head of contagiousness for Kenyan police. So I grew up I was born in Kenya and I grew up with him being head of county espionage for Kenya. Police say like it or don’t like it. He was a colonial policeman, but he had a very colourful character about himself. And he was involved in many high level investigations in Kenya.

Howard Griffiths

And that’s where Roy McFarlane and Archie met each other. And they, both from the UK, eventually came down to South Africa. I was schooled in South Africa and I just grew up with my father in the security industry and the investigations industry. And I don’t want to go too much into that. But, um, I worked with him for many years in the company. We call it ASIC for short, and I learnt a lot from him.

Howard Griffiths

And so, yeah, I can say it was probably through osmosis in a way. And my relationship with my father and his passion for this type of work and some of the basic principles that I learnt from him way back then still apply today. You can’t move away from them. Obviously, the techniques and the way the world’s changed, but the basic principles still remain the same. That’s incredible, it’s both a tribute to your dad and it also shows that nature and nurture played a huge role in you take up the reins.

Chad Thomas

We’re going to take a quick break. When we come back, I’ll be chatting to Howard Griffitts about the evolution of the private investigation the past four decades. You’re listening to the confidential brief with Chad Thomas on High FM. I’m chatting to somebody who is himself a doyen in the industry and he likes to refer to his dad has been doing in the industry the late Archie Griffiths. My guest today is Howard Griffiths, who has been at the helm of a company for quite some time now.

Chad Thomas

And my question before going to break is how in your opinion, Howard, has investigations changed over the last four decades in South Africa?

Howard Griffiths

Yeah, look, the industry back then was very basic in some respects and has become incredibly sophisticated. Now, what I had noticed back then is that private investigators and. We’re. Pretty much hired by big business to do some of their investigative work. There was no real controls about how they did it and what they did. But what was interesting was that.