• Servamus interviewed a few former police members to find out about their “lives after the police” and a community member who joins the fight against crime – especially environmental crime. Read their stories from pp 20-26 in Servamus: November 2017.

    Servamus interviewed a few former police members to find out about their “lives after the police” and a community member who joins the fight against crime – especially environmental crime. Read their stories from pp 20-26 in Servamus: November 2017.

  • With the latest crime statistics being released at the end of October, it sketches a less positive picture. We look at alternative ways in which citizens choose to protect themselves. Read the article from pp 14-19 in Servamus: November 2017.

    With the latest crime statistics being released at the end of October, it sketches a less positive picture. We look at alternative ways in which citizens choose to protect themselves. Read the article from pp 14-19 in Servamus: November 2017.

  • It is always a privilege to participate in awards ceremonies where excellent police work is recognised. Thanks to Trackers individual police members and units have been awarded for their fight against vehicle crime for the 18th time! Read the article from pp 46-49 in Servamus: November 2017.

    It is always a privilege to participate in awards ceremonies where excellent police work is recognised. Thanks to Trackers individual police members and units have been awarded for their fight against vehicle crime for the 18th time! Read the article from pp 46-49 in Servamus: November 2017.

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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.)

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[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 - November 2017

Police members who are passionate about making a difference warm my heart.
By Annalise Kempen
Almost 200 years ago, in 1829, the world's first police force was created by Sir Robert Peel.
By Annalise Kempen
In October 2000, a police official was seriously injured when he foiled a bank robbery in the Bedfordview centre near Johannesburg after two men robbed the Standard Bank of a large amount of cash.
By Annalise Kempen
During the first weekend of October 2017, there was a huge outcry on social media following the spreading of a video showing an incident at a supermarket in Gauteng where security officers assaulted a woman while her crying three-year-old toddler bore witness to her mother's ordeal.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - November 2017

Section 165 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows:
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.
In the case of Jordaan and Others v City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality and Others [2017] ZACC 31 (CC), a full bench of 11 judges of our Constitutional Court unanimously declared that, on transfer of property, a new owner is NOT liable for debts (Afrikaans: "skuld") arising BEFORE transfer of the property under section 118(3) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000.
Read More - Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Gauteng v MG 2017 (2) SACR 132 (SCA)
Background Section 57(1) of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 provides as follows:
In Servamus: June 2015 Pollex briefly referred to two Draft White Papers* that had appeared on 3 March 2015 and on which the public were asked to comment.

Letters - November 2017

Recently, former officers of the SAPS from Pietermaritzburg were invited by officers from Durban to meet at the Japanese Gardens, Durban North, to get to know each other.
Police members from Napier Police Station were busy with crime prevention duties in Sarel Cilliers Street in Napier when a white Nissan Tida, driving at a high speed, passed them around 23:00 on 11 October 2017.
After nearly two years of devotion to a case of aggravated robbery, a Westville SAPS detective secured 15 yearsentences for two accused in a Pinetown court during the end of September 2017.
November 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.