• 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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Article by Kotie Geldenhuys
Photos provided by Rescue SA

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. Less than an hour later, the first of many tsunami waves hit Japan's coastline. These waves reached run-up heights (the distance that the wave surges inland above sea level) of up to 39 m at Miyako city and travelled inland as far as 10 km in Sendai. The tsunami flooded an estimated area of approximately 561 km2 in Japan. The electrical power and backup generators at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant were overwhelmed by the tsunami and the plant lost its cooling capabilities. This resulted in a level-7 nuclear meltdown and the release of radioactive materials into the Pacific Ocean (www.livescience.com/39110-japan-2011-earthquake-tsunami-facts.html). In 2017, six years after the earthquake and tsunami, the final death toll stood at 15 893, with 2553 people unaccounted for (www.asahi.com/ ajw/articles/AJ201703110042.html).

When natural disasters or man-made catastrophes topple buildings, search and rescue teams immediately set out to find victims trapped beneath the wreckage. During these missions, time is critical and the ability to quickly detect living victims greatly increases the chances of rescue and survival. In such a situation, the first thing to do is to activate search and rescue teams, which consist of highly trained volunteers. In South Africa there are a number of NGOs, such as the Red Cross and Gift of the Givers, which respond to disaster areas and do excellent work by helping the victims. Servamus spoke to Mr Ian Scher, CEO of Rescue South Africa, one of the NGOs that respond to disasters, to learn more about the work they do. Rescue South Africa sent a rescue team of 50 members on 15 March 2011 to assist in the response to the 2011 Japan earthquake, which was followed by a tsunami.

The beginning
Mr Scher told us that after a group of volunteers went to India and Turkey to assist with search and rescue operations following earthquakes, the concept of Rescue South Africa was born. In 2001, an NGO was registered and the big build-up started. The team needed to get specialised rescue equipment and other necessities such as mobile/veld kitchens and toilets together to make responding to disaster areas possible.

Rescue South Africa approached USAID to request funding for training. The funding was provided and two teams from OFDA (Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance) were sent to South Africa to train a selected group of professional firefighters. This was a part of their mission to assist vulnerable populations in training resources to build resilience and strengthen their own ability to respond to emergencies. Rescue South Africa strategically selected the delegates to ensure maximum impact of this training opportunity. A total of 26 firefighters, who were also involved in training in their daily jobs, were selected and trained. This group of 26 went on to train thousands of South Africans to the level of Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) technicians.

Training
Rescue South Africa's instructors and training material have been accredited by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) to ensure a tertiary institution benchmark. This benchmark not only ensures the international standard of Rescue South Africa's training solution - it also entrenches the standardisation of training required to ensure uniformity and team cohesion in the future. Career firefighters are accredited by UJ to do practical training with delegates. These instructors are also qualified safety officers.
The 15-week training course consists of theory and practical work and covers various rescue topics such as high angles, confined spaces, swift water, hazardous chemicals, industrial and agricultural rescue, trenches, structural collapse rescue, fire search and rescue and training the trainer. Students write a theoretical exam and also do a practical examination during which they are evaluated on their knowledge of using the equipment properly. As search and rescue is all about teamwork, they also do group tasks during which they have to build specific wooden structures (shoring), which are typical of those built when a rescue team deals with unsafe structures after a disaster, to ensure their safety.

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[This is only an extract of an article published on pp 22-27 in Servamus: October 2017. The rest of this very interesting article looks at the equipment used; what it takes to deploy a team after a rescue as well as the international acknowledgement this team has received for the work they do during 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.