• We are increasingly paying more attention to the damaging impact that environmental crime has on the environment and ecosystems, peace, security and development. Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 10 – 13.

    We are increasingly paying more attention to the damaging impact that environmental crime has on the environment and ecosystems, peace, security and development. Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 10 – 13.

  • Ever thought about the security risks associated with the illegal dumping of medical waste on dump sites in South Africa? We tell you more about prosecution and minimising the risk of cross-contamination. Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 34-35.

    Ever thought about the security risks associated with the illegal dumping of medical waste on dump sites in South Africa? We tell you more about prosecution and minimising the risk of cross-contamination. Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 34-35.

  • Did you know that there was a link between pollution and crime? We didn’t, until we researched the topic and found that exposure to toxic substances (including lead) was higher among violent criminals. Interesting! Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 31 – 33.

    Did you know that there was a link between pollution and crime? We didn’t, until we researched the topic and found that exposure to toxic substances (including lead) was higher among violent criminals. Interesting! Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 31 – 33.

  • Following a spate of criminal incidents around the OR Tambo International Airport, the Minister of Police unveiled the integrated multi-disciplinary tactical security plan for this national key point. Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 50-51.

    Following a spate of criminal incidents around the OR Tambo International Airport, the Minister of Police unveiled the integrated multi-disciplinary tactical security plan for this national key point. Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 50-51.

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By Kotie Geldenhuys
Photos by Kotie Geldenhuys; Frans van der Merwe and SanParks

It is a hot, peaceful summer's day in Africa. A herd of elephants is peacefully feeding on small bushes and trees on one of the plains while the persistent and deafening drone of the cicadas pulses through the air. With their ears flapping to keep them cool, the elephants slowly move through the savanna. Baby elephants stay close to their mothers while the matriarch disciplines the young bulls who explore the area. Then, suddenly, the peace is disturbed by tremendous noise - rattling firearms and screaming hunters who appear from out of nowhere and kill two of these jumbos for their tusks, which will bring great monetary reward.

Significant numbers of species are being lost to wildlife poaching and trafficking and in recent years the trafficking has become more organised and commercialised than ever before. The magnificent African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is one of the key species under serious threat, not only due to surges in poaching and the illegal ivory trade but also due to accelerating habitat loss. The focus of this article is on elephant poaching for the ivory trade and not on the elephant-human conflict due to the rapidly expanding human population in Africa and the ongoing encroachment of these jumbos' habitat.

The African elephant is not only the largest remaining land mammal, but is also among the most intelligent creatures with which we share the planet. It would be hard for us to imagine what a future would look like without these giants roaming the beautiful landscapes of sub-Saharan Africa. Elephants are dominant in their environment and provide a significant impact on the ecology by removing trees, trampling grass, creating watering holes and improving soil condition (www.nikela.org/how-the-african-elephant-is-important-to-its-ecosystem). Wasser et al (2010) make it clear that the loss of keystone species such as elephants impacts on the integrity of ecosystems and their contribution.

Since the European Middle Ages, African elephants have been extinct in North Africa and are only found in approximately 35 countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Nelleman et al, 2013). By the end of 2013, the total African elephant population in Africa was estimated at 473 386, with four countries representing 56% of the total continental population, namely: Botswana (154 271), Namibia (16 555), South Africa (20 260) and Zimbabwe (74 928). A clear decline in the total number of African elephants was noted between 2006 and 2013. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (2016) stresses that in 2006 the population was at 555 823 and in 2013 it had declined to 473 386. Elephant presence in three countries, namely Senegal, Somalia and Sudan, remains uncertain (CITES, 2013).

Those who visit national parks in South Africa, such as the Kruger National Park, the Addo Elephant National Park and the Tembe Elephant Park, might question the relevance of this article given that these parks are home to so many elephants. The sad reality is that elephant poaching also occurs in South Africa and that it has shown an increase in the Kruger National Park.

Poaching on the rise
Ivory-seeking poachers have killed more than 100 000 elephants in Africa between 2010 and 2012 (Scriber, 2014). Nelleman et al (2013) note that there was an upward trend in both the poaching of African elephants and the illicit ivory trade, which is particularly evident from 2007 onwards. Since 2007, the illicit ivory trade grew and the amount of ivory smuggled had more than doubled - in fact, it has more than tripled since 1998.

According to the Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) Programme of CITES, poaching levels have been at their highest in 2011 since MIKE began monitoring the trends in illegal killing in 2001. Similarly, the seizure of large shipments of ivory hit an all-time high in 2011, indicating an increasingly active, profitable and well-organised illegal ivory trade between Africa and Asia. The overall weight and number of large-scale ivory seizures (more than 500 kg) in 2013 exceeded any previous year in CITES's Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) data (CITES, 2013).

It is estimated that, in 2011, approximately 7.4% of the total elephant population in 60 MIKE elephant sites across Africa were killed illegally which means that 17 000 elephants were killed in these sites alone. Moreover, in 2012, MIKE found that approximately 15 000 elephants were killed in these sites alone (CITES, 2013).

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[This is only an extract of an article published on pp 14-19 in Servamus: September 2017. The rest of this article looks at how elephant poaching is on the rise in South Africa; and explores the reasons behind poaching. The ivory market and ivory trade as well as the role of law enforcement in fighting elephant poaching, are also discussed in detail. 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 - September 2017

In June 2017, two Chinese nationals were removed from an Istanbul-bound plane just before take-off at OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Elephants are hunted for their ivory and rhinos for their horns. Pangolins, lions and leopards are killed for the muti trade.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
It is a hot, peaceful summer's day in Africa. A herd of elephants is peacefully feeding on small bushes and trees on one of the plains while the persistent and deafening drone of the cicadas pulses through the air.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
When we throw something into the garbage bin, we seldom think about its destination. All the discarded plastic bags, broken cellphones and televisions, used batteries and bulbs, glass bottles and old stoves contribute in some way to environmental pollution.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - September 2017

Read More - Director of Public Prosecutions, Western Cape v Parker 2015 (2) SACR 109 (SCA)
Step-in-Time Supermarket CC*, a registered Value-Added Tax (VAT) vendor (Afrikaans: “ondernemer”), and Mr Parker, its sole representative, were charged in the regional court in Bellville in the Cape Peninsula on a number of counts under the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 and the Value-Added Tax Act 89 of 1991 (the VAT Act) respectively.
Read More - S V Mandlozi 2015 (2) SACR 258 (FB)
Ms Lindiwe Mandlozi, also known as Leopoldina Maconze (hereinafter referred to as the accused), was convicted before the regional court in Kroonstad in the Free State (the trial court) of contravention of section 5(b) of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992, read together with certain specified provisions thereof.
Read More - S V Mukuyu 2017 (2) SACR 27 (GJ)
Section 51(2)(a)(i) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997 (“Act 105 of 1997”) provides as follows: “51. Discretionary minimum sentences for certain serious offences
In a publication unrelated to Servamus, Pollex recently remarked as follows as far as Act 60 of 2000 is concerned:

Letters - September 2017

Two former police officers, viz Capt Saravanan Govender and Raju Ellapen, were honoured, appreciated and recognised for the enormous contributions and life-changing experiences they imparted into the lives of thousands of Indian policemen and -women at both the Wentworth and Chatsworth Indian Police Colleges.
The SAPS does not always get a good rap so I would like to commend your members on the dealings we had with them.
The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) would like to express our gratitude to members of Ladysmith and QwaQwa SAPS for their assistance with a donkey case recently handled by the NSPCA.
On Saturday 15 July 2017, at around 19:00, I was off duty and took my family to pick up a few things from a café in Swartruggens near the N4, using my private vehicle.
I’m extremely thankful to W/O Van Graan and his two colleagues, W/O Bothma and Sgt Manus from K9 Breede River Worcester, for “saving my life” following an incident on 4 July 2017.
September 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.