• 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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- Are you and your family prepared for disasters and extreme weather conditions?
Compiled by Annalise Kempen
Photo courtesy of Rescue SA

June 2017: Knysna and its surrounding areas - devastating fires.

August 2017: Houston, Texas - extreme floods.

Disasters don’t discriminate - they can happen at any time and any place and often when we least expect them. And worst of all, apart from the possibility of losing all our material possessions in the blink of an eye, we might have to bid a loved one goodbye in the process. The question to answer is whether there is anything that we can do to be better prepared for disasters.
There is a general principle that the likelihood of recovering from an emergency/disaster in future, depends on the planning and preparation we do today (Disaster management, Cape Town, Nd). Although the details may differ depending on the type of disaster, ie a wind storm versus a devastating fire, the principles of preparation remain similar.

Types of disasters
A disaster is defined as “a sudden accident or a natural catastrophe that causes great damage or loss of life” and “an event or fact that has unfortunate consequences” (English Oxford Living Dictionaries). In a booklet entitled Multi hazard awareness, the Department of Cooperative Governance, the National Disaster Management Centre and the South African Weather Service combined efforts to provide valuable information regarding various hazards that could cause destruction in the South African context. Although they might not lead to or be defined as disasters per se in terms of their extent, those who have been affected might suffer great damage to or loss of material possessions, or even risk life and limb. The following information about hazards has been extracted and adapted from the Multi hazard awareness booklet.

1. Floods

Floods happen when a large amount of water overflows beyond its normal limits, especially over what is normally dry land (English Oxford Living Dictionaries). Flooding can also refer to excessive water run-off or the rise in water levels in a particular area which is more than the particular environment can absorb or carry. It can happen along rivers; when tropical storms drive ocean water inland and cause significant flooding; in urban areas when urban developments (eg parking lots) cannot absorb natural rainfall and flash floods when an excessive amount of rain falls or a massive amount of water is suddenly released.

How to reduce the risk of flooding

  • Don’t build your house or dwelling on high-risk areas such as riverbeds and floodplains. Obey municipal rules and bylaws relating to building.

What should one do if flooding is imminent?

  • Listen for warnings on television and local radio stations. Local radio broadcasters are often in a better position to give details about a region than a national broadcaster as they are in constant contact with local emergency services and authorities and the Weather Service.
  • Move pets, vehicles, valuables and other items to safety.
  • Alert your neighbours, particularly the elderly, people in female- and child-headed households and people with special needs.
  • Be ready to turn off electricity and gas (get help if needed); unplug electrical items and move them to a higher place such as an upper floor or put them on cupboards if possible.
  • Cooperate with emergency services and local authorities as communities may be evacuated to a central assembly point.
  • Never try to swim through fast flowing water - you may get swept away or be struck by an object in the water.
  • Don’t walk along riverbanks or the promenade, or cross river bridges during flooding - they may collapse in extreme situations or you may be swept off your feet by large waves.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater as it may be contaminated with sewage.

What should you do if you are on the road?

  • Never attempt to cross a flooded river with or without a vehicle.
  • Never drive over a bridge when the bridge is submerged under water.
  • Avoid an open or partially closed storm water drainage system.

How can you safeguard yourself and your family?

  • Irrespective of the type of flood, head for higher ground and stay away from flood waters.
  • If you come across flood waters, turn around and get to higher ground.
  • Never try to walk, swim, drive or play in flood water.
  • If you are in a vehicle and become surrounded by water and you can get out safely, do so immediately and move to higher ground.

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[This is only an extract of an article published on pp 42-45 in Servamus: October 2017. The rest of this very article contains information which could mean the difference between life and death by discussing what you should do after returning home after a flood; what to do to prevent veld fires and caught in a fire; as well as what a heatwave is and what to be done during a heatwave. We also give tips of how to develop a family emergency plan for 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

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.