• 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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- 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.

But where did it all start? Servamus spoke to Mrs Susan Snyman from the IT faculty of Varsity College in Pretoria, who told us that the origin of the game can be traced back to a 22-year-old Russian psychology student and game designer named Philipp Budeikin, who intentionally manipulated teenagers into committing suicide. He started in 2013 when he created the death group named F57 after he had thought about this idea for five years. Why the name F57? Susan Snyman said that although his name was spelled with a Ph, it was pronounced as an F, and 57 represented the last two digits of his phone number. Philipp established contact with multiple teenagers online, studied their mental state and then selected those he found to be weak or depressed enough to be pushed toward killing themselves. His explanation for his actions is chilling: "There are people and there is biological waste. I was cleaning our society of such people," he said (Makhni, 2017). Susan added that he created the game to cleanse society through suicide of the weak or people who do not represent any value for society and would cause only harm to society.

Philipp Budeikin developed the game in which he gives teenagers tasks to complete up until the point where the teenagers get so vulnerable that they will commit suicide when instructed to do so. Philipp said that he gathered the children, then offered simple tasks which, for some children, were too boring or weird to complete - these were clearly too strong to be manipulated. Those who stayed in the game were given much more extreme tasks like cutting their veins, balancing on a roof top, or killing an animal and posting a video or pictures online to prove it. The majority of children left at that stage. A small group of teenagers was left and they obediently completed all the tasks - it was clear that these teenagers were physiologically ready to follow whatever the administrators told them to do, no matter how strange or scary the tasks were. They felt their position in the group was so precious that they were prepared to literally do anything to stay in. "One of the troubles for us was that 15 children who committed suicide at administrator's orders were told to delete all correspondence in their social media accounts, which they all did. However, one girl went through to the final stage of the game before giving up and she provided state investigators with crucial evidence," said Anton Breido, a senior official from the Russian Investigative Committee (which is like an equivalent to the FBI).

Philipp admitted that he was really pushing teenagers to their death and added: "They were dying happy. I was giving them what they didn't have in real life: warmth, understanding, connections" (Stewart, 2017).

Philipp clearly knew what he had to do to get the results he wanted - this deadly game allegedly resulted in its first suicide in 2015 in Russia (Baruah, 2017). He was later arrested and confessed to provoking 17 deaths and was incarcerated for three years by a Siberian court (Stewart and Davies, 2017). When he walked into prison, he was still in "God" mode and felt that he was untouchable (Stewart, 2017).

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: December 2017. The rest of the article explains how this deadly game works; the fact that it is a psychological game; the extent of the problem and the possibility of prosecution and we also share a survivor’s story. It is a must read article for all parents and their teenagers to warn them about this deadly game! To enquire how to obtain the rest of this important 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.