• 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 early in the morning and the residents of a small town wake up to the smell of smoke and the chanting of protesters. Upon trying to go to work, residents find their roads barricaded, shops looted and a school almost burnt down. Smoke fills the air and flashing blue lights indicate that the police are at hand to keep a close eye on the protesters and, if necessary, to keep them under control with water cannons and tear smoke. Some residents join the protest march, others simply turn around and phone the office to tell them they can’t get to work.

Protest actions have formed part of the South African landscape for many years, and are, in essence, not bad since they give people an opportunity to express their problems and concerns. Mass demonstrations act as a potent weapon in the hands of people who, as individuals, have little power and are seldom listened to by those in power. It is exactly because such protests cause inconvenience and disruption and sometimes limit the rights of others, that they are noticed and may have an impact.

In recent years we’ve seen various forms of protests ranging from labour; pre-election; service delivery; land; #PravinMustStay; #FeesMustFall; #ZumaMustFall to anti-racism protests. The vast majority of these protests were peaceful, but when they turn violent, the problems start. Mulaudzi and Lancaster (2017) argue that protests rarely start out violent, but escalate into being violent as people's frustrations increase when formal ways of registering problems, such as by writing letters, or trying to meet public representatives or State officials, fail.

Public violence is defined as “the unlawful and intentional performance by a number of persons of an act or acts which assumes serious proportions and are intended to disturb public peace and order by violent means, or to infringe the rights of another” (www.saps.gov.za/faqdetail.php?fid=9).

Duncan (2016) argues that disruptive and violent protests have often been conflated. However, there is a distinction between disruptive protests which involve breaching established “order”, including peacefully, while violent protests involve attacks on people or appreciable damage to property.

Recent violent protests in Eldorado Park, Ennerdale and surrounding areas in the south of Johannesburg as well as in Coligny in the North West province have made headlines. It almost seems as if violent public unrest will occupy a permanent spot in our news. But why do we experience so much violence? During an Institute for Security Studies (ISS) seminar about violent protests which was held on 15 June 2016 in Pretoria, Tsholofelo Sesanga from the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) argued that violence is regarded by many South Africans as a normal way to deal with conflict. Violence is understood as a language that allows people who feel that they are not being heard, to express themselves and make themselves heard. “If we are violent, we will be better recognised. Through the language called violence communities communicate their grievances to government and other role-players,” she said. In other words, public protests give a voice to the poor, but sadly it often results in considerable loss which makes the poor suffer even more.

 

The right to protest

Section 17 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 gives people the right to protest, demonstrate or strike in public, how-ever it makes it clear that this right must not infringe on the rights of others. The Regulation of Gatherings Act 205 of 1993 provides the legal framework for this right and states that “every person has the right to assemble with other persons and to express his/her views on any matter freely in public and to enjoy the protection of the State while doing so”. Act 205 of 1993 allows protests to be prohibited if they cause serious disruption. Even then, the Act states that municipalities and the police must consult with protesters before dispersing them.

Act 205 of 1993 requires from organisers to give notice of a gathering to the responsible officer not later than seven days before the date of the gathering. This officer is then required to negotiate in good faith with organisers in order to try and ensure that the intended gathering will not cause unnecessary disruptions to traffic and access to work. The officer can impose reasonable conditions on a gathering to ensure that it remains peaceful and to prevent unnecessary disruption. However, in terms of section 5 of Act 205 of 1993, a gathering can only be prohibited “when credible information on oath is brought to the attention of a responsible officer that there is a threat that a proposed gathering will result in serious disruption of vehicular or pedestrian traffic, injury to participants in the gathering or other persons, or extensive damage to property and that the SAPS and the traffic officers in question will not be able to contain this threat” (De Vos, 2016).

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: July 2017. The rest of this article looks at, among others, different types of protests; the extent of the problem; and charges brought against protesters. 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.