• 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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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.

The master deeds data breach: background
South Africans who know that their data has been compromised are interested in knowing what information has been compromised, by whom, and ultimately what could potentially happen to their information. In the few weeks since the incident drew media attention, we've learned that Troy Hunt received a 27 GB electronic file named "masterdeeds.sql" in March 2017. This electronic file contains personal records of South Africans including their identity numbers, marital status, employment details, income information, property ownership information and other sensitive information. According to Mohapi (2017), "what is important to note is that this is for both deceased and alive people in South Africa".

Why should we be concerned about the data breach?
Mohapi (2017) notes that Troy Hunt confirmed that the data set contains more than 2.2 million unique e-mail addresses, which is less than 10% of the total unique records in the data set. This makes sense since not every South African whose data has been compromised has an e-mail address and since the data includes that of deceased persons.

We know by now that getting access to an individual's personal information is exactly what identity thieves would pay large amounts of money for. Once they get their hands on such information, they can go about using that data to open bank accounts and other accounts or apply for credit in the name of a victim who is unlikely to know that their personal information is being used to commit identity fraud*. In other words, getting access to such data "makes it a dream for someone or a group of people who trade in identity theft because they not only have your ID number and contact details but your income information too. Making the job of identity thieves, should they get a hold of the data, quite a breeze" (Mohapi, 2017). So, what we as South Africans should be concerned about is what these perpetrators could do with our identity numbers or information about our income or property.

The Hawks' Cybercrime Unit has launched an investigation together with multi-disciplinary stakeholders and other law enforcement agencies in order to establish the extent of the possible breach and to identify any cybersecurity vulnerabilities in terms of critical information infrastructure within government structures.

The extent of cybercrime
In order to determine whether this data breach is regarded as a form of cybercrime, it is important to look at a few definitions relating to cybercrime. Although neither the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill nor the Electronic Communications and Transactions (ECT) Act 25 of 2002 define cybercrime, the Electronic Communications and Transactions Amendment Act 1 of 2014, attempts to do so. Chapter 8 of Act 1 of 2014 follows a cautious approach by defining "access" which includes "the actions of a person who, after taking note of any data, becomes aware of the fact that s/he is not authorised to access that data and still continues to access that data". The National Cybersecurity Policy Framework (NCPF), which was approved by Cabinet in December 2013, defines cybercrime as "illegal acts, the commission of which involves the use of information and communication technologies".

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: December 2017. The rest of the article discusses a legislative update; the extent of cybercrime and a reminder that fighting cybercrime is part of the SAPS’s national strategy. 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 - 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.