Each year the SAPS give recognition to police employees who have excelled in the job they do. We celebrate these men and women in blue by telling each one’s story. Refer to our article published from pp 48 in Servamus: March 2018.
Do you have an idea what to do if you are kidnapped? Irrespective of whether it happens during a hijacking or someone has other intentions. We share valuable tips of what you should do in a hostage situation.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Some people are so desperate that they secretly hide on trains, ships and airplanes in search of a better life. Learn more about the reality of stowaways in the Servamus: March 2018.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
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. When he tried to contact the person selling the feed, the phone was off. The animal feed was never delivered. "I asked the bank to reverse the transaction, but it was too late. The bank said the money was already withdrawn," he said. The farmer then used the social networking site Facebook to warn other farmers about the online scam. "After I posted the warning on Facebook, one of the suspects contacted me and started to threaten to kill me if I don't remove the Facebook post," the farmer said (Chabalala, 2015).
This scenario is an example of how thousands of South Africans are defrauded daily by fraudsters using online classified adverts. Sometimes the victims are threatened if they dare to report the scam, but there are even incidents of victims being murdered. Many people consider themselves Internet savvy, but anyone can be the victim of a scam. The hard truth is that anyone who is active online is also vulnerable to the dangers that accompany interacting on the Internet.
By Annalise Kempen
During mid-October 2017, social media was awash with the news that approximately 30 million South Africans' personal information had been hacked. The breach was revealed by Troy Hunt, an Australian security researcher and creator of the website "Have I been pwned". This website allows people to check whether their personal information has been compromised in a data breach. Once South Africans were informed about the breach, many hastily proceeded to enter their e-mail addresses on the website and got the message "Oh no - pwned!" which made them question what they could do about the fact that their personal information could potentially end up in the hands of cybercriminals.
Following this incident, the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI) (commonly referred to as the Hawks) issued a media statement noting that the Acting National Head of the DPCI, Lt-Gen Yolisa Matakata, had initiated an investigation into the alleged master deeds data breach, which exposed the personal information of millions of South Africans.
- “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 ...
- A dangerous online game with one intention: To Kill
By Kotie Geldenhuys
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. He accomplishes every task and keeps on moving to the subsequent levels. After 50 days of playing this game, it is time for the final and concluding challenge - the grand finale, which instructs him to commit suicide. He goes up to highest floor of the building and jumps to his death.
The name of this game, "Blue whale", was borrowed from the practice of some types of whales that beach themselves and thereby end their lives (Patchin, 2017). In a similar manner, this online game also focuses on ending the player's life.