• Each year we pay tribute to the heroes in blue who have paid the highest price. This year was no exception. We tell you a short story about each of these latest heroes – refer to our article published from p 32 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

    Each year we pay tribute to the heroes in blue who have paid the highest price. This year was no exception. We tell you a short story about each of these latest heroes – refer to our article published from p 32 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • The weather has caused havoc in large parts of the world in recent times – resulting a huge loss of lives. Ever thought about how you would react during a disaster? Read our article published from p 14 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

    The weather has caused havoc in large parts of the world in recent times – resulting a huge loss of lives. Ever thought about how you would react during a disaster? Read our article published from p 14 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • When a disaster strikes, the affected community is dependent on men and women who are willing to leave everything at home to search for survivors and treat the injured. Such are the men and women from Rescue SA – we tell you more about these heroes in our article published from p 22 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

    When a disaster strikes, the affected community is dependent on men and women who are willing to leave everything at home to search for survivors and treat the injured. Such are the men and women from Rescue SA – we tell you more about these heroes in our article published from p 22 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

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By Kotie Geldenhuys

It is a big concern that a large number of violent protests undermine the SAPS's crime prevention efforts. When protestors block roads and damage property, the police need to divert their resources away from other responsibilities and activities in order to disperse protestors.

The police are often criticised for their role in violent protests. They were almost solely blamed for what went wrong at Marikana in August 2012, where police shot and killed 34 striking miners and wounded 76 others, after two of their own were hacked to death. By the end of 2015, South Africa saw protests on university campuses which involved widespread disruption of teaching programmes by these protestors (Bruce, 2016b). This time, the police were blamed for responding too quickly.

 

Public Order Policing Units

The Public Order Policing (POP) Unit is the key component of the SAPS responsible for dealing with protest, especially where there is violence or the risk thereof. These police members have to address the failures of other governmental departments and companies. I simply do not think it is fair to expect that the police must continue to act as a shield between communities and local governments or between employers and employees during service delivery and local government protests.

Ever since Jackie Selebi, the national police commissioner at the time, disbanded Public Order Policing Units in 2006, the police’s ability to deal with protests took a knock resulting in the loss of a lot of expertise. Before Selebi’s decision, there were 43 POP Units with a total of 7227 trained members (Burger, 2014). But following his restructuring process, only 23 units were left with a total of 2595 members (a reduction of 64%). Fortunately, this situation is starting to change. According to the 2015/2016 Annual Report of the SAPS, there are 28 Public Order Policing (POP) Units countrywide (one national unit in Pretoria and 27 provincial units). Unfortunately there are still not enough operational police members (4227) who are specifically trained to deal with maintaining public order. In February 2014, the Minister of Police at the time, Nathi Mthethwa, promised that an expansion in this unit will result in 9000 trained members across the country (Burger, 2014). During a handing over function of essential resources to POP Units at the Tshwane Police Academy on 31 May 2017, the acting national police commissioner at the time, Lt-Gen Khomotso Phahlane, revealed that POP Units’ capacity will increase to 50 provincial POP Units and four POP Reserve Units.

According to the 2015/2016 Annual Report of the SAPS, in addition to maintaining public order, members of POP Units are also involved in other tasks such as:

  • crime combating actions to address serious and violent crimes (eg armed robberies in transport and farm attacks and to protect persons and property), rendering specialised operational support;
  • assisting detectives in the search for wanted persons, apprehending and escorting dangerous and violent suspects; and
  • assisting PSS in protecting VIPs (by controlling perimeters, protecting national key points, managing crowds and providing tactical reserves).

Some members of the metro police departments have been trained in crowd management and Maj-Gen Mkhwanazi, the Component Head of SAPS's Public Order Policing (POP), said during the 2016 ISS seminar that there is good cooperation between members of the metro police departments and SAPS. Quarterly meetings are held between the SAPS and metro police departments about training in crowd control. The metro police departments however only act as first responders until the police arrive on the scene. During the event on 31 May 2017, the media were told that the police will firstly negotiate with the protesters up to a point where the protestors are given a timeline to disperse. If it seems that the first police responders will not be able to control the crowd or when the group starts to turn violent, the POP Unit's help will be called in. Police interventions during violent protests actions include the use of the police’s non-lethal crowd management equipment such as water cannons, tear gas, smoke and stun grenades and rubber bullets. These are similar methods as used by international law enforcement agencies.

...............

[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: July 2017. The rest of this article discusses in more details the training offered to POP members; what happens during clashes between the police and the public; the use of force and importance of intelligence. Contact Servamus’s offices to request the rest of the article by sending an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phoning (012) 345 4660/22.]

Servamus - October 2017

Whenever a disaster strikes, such as the fires that resulted in massive destruction in Knysna during June 2017, an earthquake in Italy or a tsunami in Japan, thousands of people need help.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
June 2017: Knysna and its surrounding areas - devastating fires. August 2017: Houston, Texas - extreme floods.
By Annalise Kempen
On 11 March 2011 at 14:46, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake, so powerful that it shifted the earth on its axis by 10 cm, struck Japan.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
"In many countries, climate change is magnifying risks and increasing the cost of disasters, a trend seen in South Africa given the current drought, the severe weather events and flooding experienced each year."
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - October 2017

There are two recent reported cases regarding all the dos and the don'ts regarding extradition (Afrikaans: "uitlewering").
Read More - S V Sebofi 2015 (2) SACR 179 (GJ)
Mr Sebofi (the accused) was convicted on two counts of rape by the regional court in Roodepoort (the trial court), and sentenced to life incarceration.
Read More - Chala and Others v Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), KwaZulu-Natal and Another 2015 (2) SACR 283 (KZP)
The proviso (Afrikaans: “voorbehoud”) to section 93ter(1) of the Magistrates’ Court Act 32 of 1944 provides as follows:
Read More - S V Tladi and Others 2016 (1) SACR 424 (GP)
The three accused persons in this case were each convicted in the regional court (“the trial court”) on one count of kidnapping and one count of rape.
Read More - S V Masoka and Another 2015 (2) SACR 268 (ECP)
Two accused persons were standing trial before the magistrates’ court in Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape on a charge of robbery.

Letters - October 2017

Hierdie jaar het vir ons twee broers met baie nuwe uitdagings begin. Ons het in Januarie ons 50ste verjaarsdag in Namibië gaan vier en as ons gedink het dat dit die hoogtepunt was, lê daar toe ‘n baie groter uitdaging op ons pad.
Between 14 and 18 August 2017, members of Westville SAPS competed in the KZN Rock and Surf angling competition held near the Wild Coast bridge, Port Edward.
It saddens me that every year South African Police Service members continue to succumb to the brutal onslaught on their lives.
October 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.