• 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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- 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 - 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.