• Each year we pay tribute to the heroes in blue who have paid the highest price. This year was no exception. We tell you a short story about each of these latest heroes – refer to our article published from p 32 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

    Each year we pay tribute to the heroes in blue who have paid the highest price. This year was no exception. We tell you a short story about each of these latest heroes – refer to our article published from p 32 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • The weather has caused havoc in large parts of the world in recent times – resulting a huge loss of lives. Ever thought about how you would react during a disaster? Read our article published from p 14 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

    The weather has caused havoc in large parts of the world in recent times – resulting a huge loss of lives. Ever thought about how you would react during a disaster? Read our article published from p 14 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • When a disaster strikes, the affected community is dependent on men and women who are willing to leave everything at home to search for survivors and treat the injured. Such are the men and women from Rescue SA – we tell you more about these heroes in our article published from p 22 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

    When a disaster strikes, the affected community is dependent on men and women who are willing to leave everything at home to search for survivors and treat the injured. Such are the men and women from Rescue SA – we tell you more about these heroes in our article published from p 22 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

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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 - October 2017

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.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
June 2017: Knysna and its surrounding areas - devastating fires. August 2017: Houston, Texas - extreme floods.
By Annalise Kempen
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.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
"In many countries, climate change is magnifying risks and increasing the cost of disasters, a trend seen in South Africa given the current drought, the severe weather events and flooding experienced each year."
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - October 2017

There are two recent reported cases regarding all the dos and the don'ts regarding extradition (Afrikaans: "uitlewering").
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.
Read More - Chala and Others v Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), KwaZulu-Natal and Another 2015 (2) SACR 283 (KZP)
The proviso (Afrikaans: “voorbehoud”) to section 93ter(1) of the Magistrates’ Court Act 32 of 1944 provides as follows:
Read More - S V Tladi and Others 2016 (1) SACR 424 (GP)
The three accused persons in this case were each convicted in the regional court (“the trial court”) on one count of kidnapping and one count of rape.
Read More - S V Masoka and Another 2015 (2) SACR 268 (ECP)
Two accused persons were standing trial before the magistrates’ court in Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape on a charge of robbery.

Letters - October 2017

Hierdie jaar het vir ons twee broers met baie nuwe uitdagings begin. Ons het in Januarie ons 50ste verjaarsdag in Namibië gaan vier en as ons gedink het dat dit die hoogtepunt was, lê daar toe ‘n baie groter uitdaging op ons pad.
Between 14 and 18 August 2017, members of Westville SAPS competed in the KZN Rock and Surf angling competition held near the Wild Coast bridge, Port Edward.
It saddens me that every year South African Police Service members continue to succumb to the brutal onslaught on their lives.
October 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.