• 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..

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys
Photos courtesy Centrum Guardian project

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. Apart from those who collect food, clothes, blankets or money for the victims, there are others who organise firefighting or search and rescue equipment and go to the disaster area.

Volunteering often plays a pivotal role in the pre-disaster risk reduction phase and post-disaster recovery efforts following disasters. The types of disasters to which volunteers respond are natural disasters which include hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, floods, tropical cyclones, wildfires, mud slides and snow storms as well as human disasters which include terrorism attacks, warfare, casualty/liability events and displacement crises (DMISA, 2016).

When disaster strikes, many people want to help. Some get into their vehicles or jump onto a plane to see how they can assist. But it is not always that easy and people who volunteer their help to disaster victims must realise that without specific training or affiliations, they can actually cause more problems in a disaster situation, specifically when the disaster locations are far away from their homes, since there is no additional food, accommodation or other services available for volunteers.

Laskey (2016) argues that community-based disaster preparedness approaches are increasingly important elements of vulnerability reduction and disaster management strategies. Volunteering, although it is strongly resisted by certain emergency services, is often very beneficial. The principle of donating time and energy for the benefit of other people in the community can be regarded as a social responsibility rather than for any financial reward. There are many definitions for volunteering, but Laskey (2016) prefers to use the following: "To choose to act in recognition of a need, with an attitude of social responsibility and without concern for monetary profit, going beyond one's basic obligations." Volunteering is generally considered an unselfish activity in which people provide services for no financial gain. But volunteerism is not only about giving; it is also known for a number of other positive and useful benefits as many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas in which they work, such as medical assistance, search and rescue operations, firefighting and mountaineering. Benefits for volunteers can include:

  • developing skills;
  • promoting goodness (social upliftment) or improving human quality of life;
  • positive benefits for community being served; and
  • making contacts for possible future employment.

National and international response to disasters
South Africa is fortunate to have people with a lot of skills who assist during disasters. Rescue South Africa, an official South African Disaster Response Team, consists of volunteer emergency response specialists from the South African public and private sector emergency and ancillary services, and is one of the NGOs organising and coordinating missions to affected areas. Their multi-disciplinary task forces include specialist rescuers, trauma doctors, paramedics, K9 search dog units, civil engineers, chemical specialists and safety specialists (www.rescue-sa.co.za). Rescue South Africa resorts under the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG), a global network with more than 80 countries and organisations under the United Nations umbrella. INSARAG deals with urban search and rescue (USAR)-related issues (www.insarag.org). When Rescue South Africa goes on a mission, they are well equipped since they have their own camping equipment, food, rescue equipment, medication and doctors - this is so that they don't become a burden to the country where they render assistance (www.news24.com/southafrica/news/sa-rescue-team-heading-to-japan-20110314). (Refer to the related article about Rescue South Africa published in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.)

********************

[This is only an extract of an article published on pp 18-21 in Servamus: October 2017. The rest of this article looks volunteers from communities; what legislation entails; the issue of safety and liability and what it takes from volunteers to respond to 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.