• The reality of prisons for many inmates is far from hoping to be rehabilitated. Instead, the reality is one of trying to protect oneself from the violence perpetrated on the inside. Read our article about the shocking reality of prison violence in the August 2017 issue of Servamus.

    The reality of prisons for many inmates is far from hoping to be rehabilitated. Instead, the reality is one of trying to protect oneself from the violence perpetrated on the inside. Read our article about the shocking reality of prison violence in the August 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • Some people seem to choose a life of violent crime. We ask whether it is due to an antisocial personality disorder or genes or whether other factors are at play. Read this interesting article in the August 2017 issue of Servamus.

    Some people seem to choose a life of violent crime. We ask whether it is due to an antisocial personality disorder or genes or whether other factors are at play. Read this interesting article in the August 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • Commercial crime is often regarded as “not so serious”. We prove the opposite in an article featured in the August 2017 issue of Servamus by giving a South African perspective to this very serious crime and the impact it has on the community and economy.

    Commercial crime is often regarded as “not so serious”. We prove the opposite in an article featured in the August 2017 issue of Servamus by giving a South African perspective to this very serious crime and the impact it has on the community and economy.

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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 - August 2017

Asanda Baninzi and Wox Mthuthuzeli Nombewu hijacked a sergeant based at the Langebaan Airforce Base and his girlfriend, then drove them to the Mawumawu area in Nyanga.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Who will be the next National Commissioner of the SAPS? That is the question on many concerned South Africans' lips - especially those of police members, researchers and the SAPS's partners in the fight against crime.
By Annalise Kempen
Normal, healthy people seldom dream about death. They do not see crime scenes and dead people when they close their eyes.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
For a period of 11 years the serial rapist and murderer, Jimmy Maketta, terrorised communities in the Philippi area near Cape Town.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - August 2017

Read More - S v Parkins 2017 (1) SACR 235 (WCC)
Bradley Parkins (“the accused”) was convicted in the regional court sitting at Wynberg in the Cape Peninsula (“the trial court”) on the following six charges:
Read More - S v Mabitle 2017 (1) SACR 325 (NWM) and S v Monye and Another 2017 (1) SACR 329 (SCA)
In Ask Pollex in Servamus: August 2015, Pollex referred to a number of reported cases in respect of “contract killings”.
Read More In Servamus: June 2017, Pollex discussed the case of S v Hewitt 2017 (1) SACR 309 (SCA) (“the Hewitt case”). (The case involved the retired, world-renowned champion tennis player and instructor, Bob Hewitt.)
The Hewitt case was about three female complainants of whom two were raped and one was sexually assaulted (this offence was known as indecent assault at the time).
This month sees the last of our series of unlawful arrest and detention cases.

Letters - August 2017

Read More - An update (Servamus: December 2016
The telephone rings sharply in the charge office of Kliptown Police Station. The sergeant on duty looks up at the old clock hanging above the fireplace.
From 13 to 16 June 2017, members of the South African Police Service embarked on a trip to Mossel Bay for the Inter Provincial Soccer Championship, which was held at the D'Almeida sports ground.
Fathers’ Day was celebrated this year on 18 June, and I decided to run a special project under Social Crime Prevention for the fathers at Westville SAPS, with the wonderful support of some very gracious sponsors.
August 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.