• 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 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 The bank said the money was already withdrawn," he said.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.

How big is the problem?
Online customer service websites such as Hellopeter.com and reportacrime.co.za are flooded with complaints about scams that occur on classifieds sites such as Gumtree, JunkMail and OLX, but many of these cases are not reported to the authorities or to the relevant classifieds sites.

Felix Erken, the MD of JunkMail, is quoted as having said that the perception that online classified sites are rife with fraudulent posts or online scams is untrue and added that less than 1% of the adverts on their site are considered "fraudulent". "We eliminate most of them before they are ever published," he said. According to him, the portal has measures to shield both buyer and seller: "If a suspicious advert is detected, a red flag is raised by the automated system; the advert is passed to the moderation expert team for review. Should the content raise a cause for concern, it is immediately removed" (www.fin24.com/Money/ Money-Clinic/Savings/Gumtree-et-al-safeguard-yourself-20120904).
Mzekandaba (2016) adds that OLX claims that it has received fewer than ten reports from customers who were scammed in 2015.

How safe is it to use online classified ads?
Stephen Ballot, the national manager of OLX, argues that trading on classifieds sites is safe as long as users use common sense. "We ask people to only pay once they have seen the item. This tiny piece of common sense would cut out 90% of all scams," says Ballot (Mzekandaba, 2016).

Felix Erken from JunkMail is of the opinion that classifieds are now safer than ever. "There are so many social tools and mechanisms to flag suspicious advertisements, as opposed to the print-only days or the early days of the Internet," he explains. "We encourage users to report suspicious ads immediately. We also keep a record of these adverts and scams on our blog, which the public can consult if they are unsure of the legitimacy of an advert" (www.fin24.com/Money/ Money-Clinic/Savings/Gumtree-et-al-safeguard-yourself-20120904).

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[This is only an extract from an article published in Servamus: December 2017. We also warn how easy it is for people to be scammed; the types of scams perpetrated and give some valuable tips on what you should do if you want to use online advert websites to buy or sell products. 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.