• Remember the bomb technician’s motto: “I am a bomb technician, if you see me running, try and keep up!” – In the January 2018 issue of Servamus we share the realities faced by bomb technicians and tell you what it takes to become one.

    Remember the bomb technician’s motto: “I am a bomb technician, if you see me running, try and keep up!” – In the January 2018 issue of Servamus we share the realities faced by bomb technicians and tell you what it takes to become one.

  • In our Community Safety Tips of Servamus: January 2018, we deal with medicine, false advertising, quacks & our health and help you distinguish between facts and fictions in terms of medicine.

    In our Community Safety Tips of Servamus: January 2018, we deal with medicine, false advertising, quacks & our health and help you distinguish between facts and fictions in terms of medicine.

  • In the second part of our short series of “Putting school bullies in their place” – Legally published in Servamus: January 2018, we guide readers you step by step on how to obtain a Harassment Act protection order and the accompanying warrant of arrest..

    In the second part of our short series of “Putting school bullies in their place” – Legally published in Servamus: January 2018, we guide readers you step by step on how to obtain a Harassment Act protection order and the accompanying warrant of arrest..

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By Kotie Geldenhuys
Photos © 2016 GroundUp

"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." - 2015 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction.

When speaking about natural disasters, we tend to think about earthquakes, such as the August 2016 earthquake in Italy in which at least 247 people were killed (www.telegraph. co.uk/news/2016/08/24/italy-earthquake-at-least-73-dead-including-many-children-as-apo); Hurricane Matthew, which hit Haiti and the Bahamas in October 2016 and in which more than 500 people were killed; and the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011 during which more than 15 000 people were killed (http://india-today.into-day.in/education/ story/japan-earth-quake-and-tsunami-of-2011/1/429914. html). But disasters do not only happen in faraway countries - we recently saw a number of disasters hitting South Africa with devastating effects.

Climate change per se may not have been responsible for the recent natural disasters, but there is a strong likelihood that it will impact future catastrophes. Climate models provide a glimpse of the future and although these models do not all share similar details, the majority of models predict a few general trends. These include an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which will probably boost temperatures over most land surfaces further, but the exact change will vary regionally. An increase in global temperatures leads to an increased risk of drought and increased intensity of storms, such as tropical cyclones with higher wind speeds (https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/RisingCost/rising_cost5.php). According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, climate change causes poverty and food shortages, and forces even higher numbers of men, women and children to flee their homes. On average, 26 million people are displaced by disasters such as floods and storms every year. That amounts to one person being forced to flee almost every second (www.nrc.no/what-we-do/speaking-up-for-rights/climate-change).

The National Disaster Management Centre
Prior to 1994, the South African government's approach to dealing with disasters was based on the perception that disasters were inevitable and could not be prevented. Accordingly, the management of disasters was restricted to emergency preparedness and response and recovery operations. As a result, the disaster risk management function traditionally found itself in a line function department. In the national and provincial spheres, this was usually the department responsible for provincial and/or local government. In the municipal sphere, the function was often linked to the safety and security portfolio or even in some cases to the fire services function. After the 1994 elections, the government called for a new policy to be developed that would shift the emphasis away from only dealing with disasters once they had occurred to adopting measures to prevent or reduce the risk of disasters. A key aspect of this new policy is the integration of disaster risk reduction strategies into existing and future developmental policies, plans and projects in order to develop robust and resilient individuals, households, communities and areas.

This decision to institutionalise formal disaster risk reduction led to the promulgation of the White Paper on Disaster Management in 1999, the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 and the National Disaster Management Framework (NDMF) in 2005. Together, these legal instruments brought about a total transformation in the state's approach to disaster risk management by establishing an enabling political environment for mainstreaming risk reduction in developmental initiatives in South Africa.

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[This is only an extract of an article published on pp 10-13 in Servamus: October 2017. The rest of this article discusses different weather-related hazards, including fires; floods; windstorms and drought; as well as what the approach should be to address drought conditions. The article concludes with the important question of whether SA is prepared to deal with disasters. Contact Servamus’s offices to request the rest of this interesting 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 - January 2018

The late Hansie Cronjé, South Africa's former cricket captain, was a national hero until cricket's biggest match-fixing scandal destroyed him. In 2000, South Africans and cricket lovers across the world were shocked when Hansie's name was connected with being involved in match-fixing.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
A young woman struggled with her weight for years and became so ashamed of her body that she was afraid to leave her home.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
For the past couple of years South Africans have witnessed the fall of one national police commissioner after another, resulting in Pres Zuma's track record of appointing National Police Commissioners being questioned.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
It is very early on a Monday morning, 03:00 to be exact, and not much is going on at a filling station in Mankweng in Limpopo. But then, suddenly, all hell breaks loose when three vehicles pull up at the station.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - January 2018

Read More - unreported (CC 26/2016) [2017] Zaecpehc 53 (2 November 2017) (ECP)
The reference supra is that of the widely publicised murder trial before the Port Elizabeth High Court in which Christopher Panayiotou and Sinethemba Nemembe were convicted of the murder of the late Ms Jayde Panayiotou who was the wife of Christopher.
Read More - S V Njiva and Another 2017 (1) SACR 395 (ECM)
Section 217(1) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows: “217. Admissibility of confession by accused
Read More - National Commissioner of Police v Southern African Human Rights Litigation Centre and Another 2015 (1) SACR 255 (CC)
In 2007 in Harare, the Zimbabwe police raided the headquarters of the main opposition political party whereafter they detained and allegedly tortured (Afrikaans: "martel") 100 Zimbabwean nationals.

Letters - January 2018

W/O David Pillay retired at the end of November 2017 after having served the South African Police Service and various communities for more than four decades - a lifetime to some.
Over the years, numerous retired police members, usually gathering at the funeral of a former colleague, suggested the formation of an organisation where retired police members could meet regularly to rekindle friendships; form new friendships; and share memories of the past on a regular basis and in an organised manner
Servamus has published a great article on the Tracker SAPS Awards 2017 in the November issue of the magazine whereby all units and nominated members were covered for the absolutely brilliant work they do in partnership with Tracker.
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.
January 2018 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.