• Bullying is a serious issue in schools. We remind about the relevant legislation and definitions in the first of three articles about dealing with school bullies. Read this article in the December 2017 issue of Servamus.

    Bullying is a serious issue in schools. We remind about the relevant legislation and definitions in the first of three articles about dealing with school bullies. Read this article in the December 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • The SAPS is adamant that they want to deal with police members who lead double lives and are susceptible to corrupt activities. All SAPS employees should read this article in the December 2017 issue of Servamus about what it being done to root out corruption.

    The SAPS is adamant that they want to deal with police members who lead double lives and are susceptible to corrupt activities. All SAPS employees should read this article in the December 2017 issue of Servamus about what it being done to root out corruption.

  • Are you a sucker for #FakeNews? We share valuable tips how to distinguish between the good, the bad and the ugly in the December 2017 issue of Servamus.

    Are you a sucker for #FakeNews? We share valuable tips how to distinguish between the good, the bad and the ugly in the December 2017 issue of Servamus.

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- Community perceptions, expectations and actions
By Annalise Kempen

Almost 200 years ago, in 1829, the world's first police force was created by Sir Robert Peel. These police members were authorised to protect the citizens of London and were financed by taxpayers. These days, in modern democracies, citizens who are taxpayers and who are therefore funding police agencies, be they national or metropolitan, expect to live in an orderly and peaceful society. In South Africa though, many taxpayers feel that they don't get enough "bang for their money" and mostly do one of two things: they either climb onto the criticism bandwagon (mostly by ranting via social media or by being armchair critics) or they roll up their sleeves and get involved in the fight against crime.

In South Africa, many citizens argue that the state is too weak to fulfil its responsibility of keeping its citizens safe. Their argument is based on our extremely high crime rates, especially when it comes to violent crimes, and people's lack of faith in government and the SAPS to effectively fight crime and create a safe country. The results of the Victims of Crime Survey (VOCS) 2016/2017 (see below) show that households' confidence in police services and courts has been gradually eroding over the years. The vast majority of households (59%), which held negative attitudes about the police, felt that the police could not recover stolen goods, while those that were disgruntled with court services said that courts were too lenient towards criminals. This has led to many individuals and organisations identifying alternative ways to safeguard themselves - mostly either by paying for private security providers; opting for mob justice or establishing variants of neighbourhood watches.

A year ago, on 6 September 2016, the South African Institute for Race Relations (IRR) and the civil rights organisation AfriForum released a report entitled "Winning the war on crime in South Africa: a new approach to community policing". At the time, Ian Cameron, the Head of Community Safety at AfriForum, noted that the Back to Basics approach to policing of (the then) Acting National Commissioner of the SAPS, Lt-Gen Khomotso Phahlane, could only succeed if it was done in conjunction with communities.

South Africa’s crime situation
There is no doubt that South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world, with 19 016 murders, at an average of 52.1 murders per day, being committed according to the SAPS's crime statistics for the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017. This indicates a 1.8% increase in murders compared to the previous report year's 18 673 murders.

Murder is one of the few crimes which can be used as a reliable benchmark with which to compare safety and security levels among different countries, since there is relative consistency in its legal definition and it is one of the most widely reported crimes, while different countries have different crime reporting rates and different levels of efficiency when it comes to crime recording. Many analysts prefer to use murder rates as stated per 100 000 of the population for comparison purposes. When murder rates per 100 000 of 2013 are compared between different countries in order to see where South Africa fits into this picture, the situation is as follows:

Honduras - 84.3 : 100 000
El Salvador - 39.8 : 100 000
South Africa - 31.9 : 100 000
United States - 3.8 : 100 000 (www.unodc.org.za)

Even though we agree that no murder can be justified and that South Africa's murder rate is far too high, there has at least been a mostly downward trend during the past 20 years, from 26 877 murders committed during the 1995/1996 report year to the lowest level happening during the 2011/2012 report year, when 15 554 murders were reported.

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[This is only an extract of an article published from p 14 in Servamus: November 2017. The rest of this article look at the Victims of Crime Survey in more details as well as the different alternatives that citizens opt for to keep them safe: private security; mob justice and neighbourhood watches. It concludes with asking whether sustainable alternatives exist to keep us safe? Contact Servamus’s offices to request the rest of this interesting article by sending an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phoning (012) 345 4660/22.]

Servamus - December 2017

A Free State farmer responded to an OLX advert from someone selling animal feed. "I wanted to buy cattle feed, so I deposited the R21 000 immediately after I verified the seller's banking details," he said.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
During mid-October 2017, social media was awash with the news that approximately 30 million South Africans' personal information had been hacked.
By Annalise Kempen
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.
By Annalise Kempen
Ben is a 14-year-old teenage boy who comes across the online game the Blue Whale. While playing this game, he has to complete one challenge after another.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - December 2017

Years ago, when General Motors “was still a sergeant”, the police’s motto was “Servamus et Servimus”, meaning “we protect and we serve”.
Read More - S V Phillips 2017 (1) SACR 373 (SCA)
Background Section 4(1) of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004 (hereinafter referred to as Act 12 of 2004) provides as follows:
Read More - S V Setlholo 2017 (1) SACR 544 (NCK)
In this case the accused was, at the time of committing the two offences concerned, a constable in the SAPS.

Letters - December 2017

While participating in the SAPS National Half-marathon held in Rustenburg during October 2017, I decided that I wanted to run all the marathon races in the Bay during 2018.
On Wednesday 1 November 2017, at approximately 10:00, Capt B R Simpson and Const T E Ntuli from the FLASH Unit at SAPS Emanguzi were travelling along the R22 main road (Engozeni area) towards the Farazela Port of Entry at the Mozambican border.
South African communities are faced with various crimes and it has been a challenge to every citizen to play a role in bringing all perpetrators to justice by working hand-in-hand with the South African Police Service.
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.
December 2017 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.