• 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
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 - 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

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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.