• Remember the bomb technician’s motto: “I am a bomb technician, if you see me running, try and keep up!” – In the January 2018 issue of Servamus we share the realities faced by bomb technicians and tell you what it takes to become one.

    Remember the bomb technician’s motto: “I am a bomb technician, if you see me running, try and keep up!” – In the January 2018 issue of Servamus we share the realities faced by bomb technicians and tell you what it takes to become one.

  • In our Community Safety Tips of Servamus: January 2018, we deal with medicine, false advertising, quacks & our health and help you distinguish between facts and fictions in terms of medicine.

    In our Community Safety Tips of Servamus: January 2018, we deal with medicine, false advertising, quacks & our health and help you distinguish between facts and fictions in terms of medicine.

  • In the second part of our short series of “Putting school bullies in their place” – Legally published in Servamus: January 2018, we guide readers you step by step on how to obtain a Harassment Act protection order and the accompanying warrant of arrest..

    In the second part of our short series of “Putting school bullies in their place” – Legally published in Servamus: January 2018, we guide readers you step by step on how to obtain a Harassment Act protection order and the accompanying warrant of arrest..

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- “We need to sing a different song” - urgently!
By Annalise Kempen

Selected photos by Ihsaan Haffejee and Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp

There is no positive light in which to paint the latest crime statistics released by the Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, on 24 October 2017. Even if we look at the crime categories which indicate a decrease, the overall crime picture remains bleak and it is cause for serious concern. Also when one looks at the scenario that is written about in the National Development Plan, namely that "in 2030 people living in South Africa (will) feel safe and have no fear of crime," and "They are safe at home, at school, at work and they enjoy an active community life free of fear", one cannot help but wonder whether the government realises that we only have a bit more than ten years left to achieve this vision. It doesn't seem so ...

The victims
Two of the 2.1 million victims of serious crime whose stories we might have read about between 1 April 2016 on 31 March 2017 (the report year) were Thabani Ngwekazi, a 28-year-old qualified medic and student, and his unnamed 21-year-old friend who was raped. Thabani was killed on 14 August 2016 shortly after he and his friend, a fellow student, were hijacked and kidnapped outside the Varsity Park student residences in North End, Port Elizabeth at around 21:30. Thabani, who hails from Mthatha and was a single father, was shot dead and his body was recovered the following day from the sea at Brighton Beach. His 21-year-old friend was raped, but eventually freed. Shockingly, two teenagers aged 17 and 18 were among the five man gang arrested for perpetrating these violent crimes.

Thabani is one of the 19 016 people who were murdered between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017. He was one of an average of 52 people who lost their lives each day due to criminal activities. His 21-year-old friend was also one of 39 848 victims of rape, and together they were included in the 16 717 hijacking cases of the report year. And all of this happened while Thabani and his friend did nothing out of the ordinary - they were two typical young people who went out that fateful evening as they were free to do. They did what many South Africans do daily and are supposed to be able to do without having to fear that they will become part of the crime statistics. Sadly, Thabani and his friend were not as lucky as the rest of us.

What do the crime statistics tell us?
Murder and the subsequent #BlackMonday
By now we know that murder has hit a ten year high, and that the latest increase of 1.8% should not be used as an indicator to tell us that "it is not that bad". What we should see is that, given the 15 554 murders committed during the 2011/2012 report year, the increase to 19 016 murders during the last financial year is shocking, and it makes sense for the nation to react.

On 30 October 2017, #BlackMonday hit the streets of South Africa resulting in a few thousand people protesting about crime and specifically about farm murders. This event was initiated after a farmer from the Boland area requested via social media that his friends wear black on that Monday to commemorate the loss of farmers' lives as a result of our high crime rate, and following the murder of his friend and fellow farmer, Joubert Conradie from the Stellenbosch area. Joubert was murdered on the same day that the crime statistics were released, and the wearing of black was said to be a sign of respect not only for those who worked and lived on farms but also for those who had lost their lives due to violent crime.

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: December 2017. The rest of the article looks in more details at some of the crimes that showed a drastic increase, as well as some of the contributing factors to why crime has increased and the trends we are noticing. To enquire how to obtain the rest of the article, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (012) 345 4660.]

Servamus - January 2018

The late Hansie Cronjé, South Africa's former cricket captain, was a national hero until cricket's biggest match-fixing scandal destroyed him. In 2000, South Africans and cricket lovers across the world were shocked when Hansie's name was connected with being involved in match-fixing.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
A young woman struggled with her weight for years and became so ashamed of her body that she was afraid to leave her home.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
For the past couple of years South Africans have witnessed the fall of one national police commissioner after another, resulting in Pres Zuma's track record of appointing National Police Commissioners being questioned.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
It is very early on a Monday morning, 03:00 to be exact, and not much is going on at a filling station in Mankweng in Limpopo. But then, suddenly, all hell breaks loose when three vehicles pull up at the station.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - January 2018

Read More - unreported (CC 26/2016) [2017] Zaecpehc 53 (2 November 2017) (ECP)
The reference supra is that of the widely publicised murder trial before the Port Elizabeth High Court in which Christopher Panayiotou and Sinethemba Nemembe were convicted of the murder of the late Ms Jayde Panayiotou who was the wife of Christopher.
Read More - S V Njiva and Another 2017 (1) SACR 395 (ECM)
Section 217(1) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows: “217. Admissibility of confession by accused
Read More - National Commissioner of Police v Southern African Human Rights Litigation Centre and Another 2015 (1) SACR 255 (CC)
In 2007 in Harare, the Zimbabwe police raided the headquarters of the main opposition political party whereafter they detained and allegedly tortured (Afrikaans: "martel") 100 Zimbabwean nationals.

Letters - January 2018

W/O David Pillay retired at the end of November 2017 after having served the South African Police Service and various communities for more than four decades - a lifetime to some.
Over the years, numerous retired police members, usually gathering at the funeral of a former colleague, suggested the formation of an organisation where retired police members could meet regularly to rekindle friendships; form new friendships; and share memories of the past on a regular basis and in an organised manner
Servamus has published a great article on the Tracker SAPS Awards 2017 in the November issue of the magazine whereby all units and nominated members were covered for the absolutely brilliant work they do in partnership with Tracker.
Members of the social crime prevention office of Emanguzi SAPS have been working hard to bring awareness to the local communities in an effort to protect the most vulnerable and youngest members in our communities.
January 2018 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.