• 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 Annalise Kempen

Some call it a new form of Apartheid ... some call it an excuse for criminality. Given the massive migration seen in the past decade throughout the world, and despite xenophobia not being unique to South Africa, it seems that it is a phenomenon that is extremely hard to tackle and get viable solutions for. It is a phenomenon where the dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries seems to increase with time.

It seems that every year or so, South Africa experiences an outbreak of xenophobia. Why it happens, often out of the blue, is a difficult question to answer. One of the latest incidents happened towards the end of February 2017, when scores of seemingly foreign-owned shops in Atteridgeville and Lotus Gardens were damaged and looted. Chances that every single one of the affected shops was being owned by foreigners, are highly unlikely.

Also in February 2017, four brothels were set alight by angry community members in Rosettenville, Johannesburg. The mayor of Johannesburg, Mr Herman Mashaba said in a statement at the time that according to community members, these homes were illegally occupied by Nigerian foreign nationals who run the homes as brothels and have girls as young as nine years old working as prostitutes. Many of the women in these brothels are also alleged to have no official identification documentation.

Apart from social issues such as promoting social decay through their brothels or making money from South Africans which locals seemingly have a problem with and which then result in violence against foreigners, we must try and find more reasons why this violence flares up out of nowhere.

 

Where and why did it all start?

South Africa experienced an increase in xenophobic attacks since the transition to democracy in 1994, including verbal and non-verbal abuse and the destruction of foreigners’ homes and businesses. While Apartheid was still in force, xenophobia was expressed through laws and policy which led to strict controls of anyone who was different (not white) (Kruger, 1969). When Apartheid came to an end, McKnight (2008) concludes that the hatred against foreigners was replacing the divide between white and black South Africans.

Shockingly, a South African Migration Project (SAMP) survey of 2001 showed that 21% of South Africans wanted a complete ban on the entry of foreigners, whilst 75% wanted strict limits on entry (Crush and Pendleton, 2004). Respondents in the survey were asked what, if anything, they had to fear about people from neighbouring countries, resulting in 48% noting that they felt that migrants were a criminal threat, compared to 37% who thought they were a threat to jobs and the economy and 29% who thought they were a health threat. The simplistic, and largely unsubstantiated, association of foreignness with criminality, job-stealing and disease is echoed in the rhetoric of the state and the media. Comments made by senior officials in those years added fuel to fire regarding the attitude towards foreigners. One such a person was Billy Masethla, the controversial Director-General of Home Affairs at the time, who made the extraordinary claim before the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs in March 2002, that “approximately 90% of foreign persons, who are in the RSA with fraudulent documents, ie either citizenship or migration documents, are involved in other crimes as well ... it is quicker to charge these criminals for their false documentation and then to deport them than to pursue the long route in respect of the other crimes that are committed,” he said. No wonder, ordinary citizens, in time, built up an intolerance towards foreigners.

 

Attacks become deadly

In May 2008, there was a culmination of feelings when attacks against foreigners became so violent that the police needed assistance from armed forces to quell the violence. At least 62 people lost their lives, 670 were injured, dozens were raped and approximately 100 000 were displaced during attacks that started in Alexandra, before spreading to the rest of Gauteng (Landau, 2009). Many of these victims were foreigners or South Africans who had married foreigners or even people from neighbouring provinces!

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

[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: July 2017. The rest of this article looks at what the truth is in terms of statistics; the role of politicians and social media in inciting xenophobic violence and ultimately the consequences, solutions and government responses to xenophobia. 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.