• 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..

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

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".

******************************

[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 - 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.