• Bullying is a serious issue in schools. We remind about the relevant legislation and definitions in the first of three articles about dealing with school bullies. Read this article in the December 2017 issue of Servamus.

    Bullying is a serious issue in schools. We remind about the relevant legislation and definitions in the first of three articles about dealing with school bullies. Read this article in the December 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • The SAPS is adamant that they want to deal with police members who lead double lives and are susceptible to corrupt activities. All SAPS employees should read this article in the December 2017 issue of Servamus about what it being done to root out corruption.

    The SAPS is adamant that they want to deal with police members who lead double lives and are susceptible to corrupt activities. All SAPS employees should read this article in the December 2017 issue of Servamus about what it being done to root out corruption.

  • Are you a sucker for #FakeNews? We share valuable tips how to distinguish between the good, the bad and the ugly in the December 2017 issue of Servamus.

    Are you a sucker for #FakeNews? We share valuable tips how to distinguish between the good, the bad and the ugly in the December 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 - December 2017

A Free State farmer responded to an OLX advert from someone selling animal feed. "I wanted to buy cattle feed, so I deposited the R21 000 immediately after I verified the seller's banking details," he said.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
During mid-October 2017, social media was awash with the news that approximately 30 million South Africans' personal information had been hacked.
By Annalise Kempen
There is no positive light in which to paint the latest crime statistics released by the Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, on 24 October 2017.
By Annalise Kempen
Ben is a 14-year-old teenage boy who comes across the online game the Blue Whale. While playing this game, he has to complete one challenge after another.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - December 2017

Years ago, when General Motors “was still a sergeant”, the police’s motto was “Servamus et Servimus”, meaning “we protect and we serve”.
Read More - S V Phillips 2017 (1) SACR 373 (SCA)
Background Section 4(1) of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004 (hereinafter referred to as Act 12 of 2004) provides as follows:
Read More - S V Setlholo 2017 (1) SACR 544 (NCK)
In this case the accused was, at the time of committing the two offences concerned, a constable in the SAPS.

Letters - December 2017

While participating in the SAPS National Half-marathon held in Rustenburg during October 2017, I decided that I wanted to run all the marathon races in the Bay during 2018.
On Wednesday 1 November 2017, at approximately 10:00, Capt B R Simpson and Const T E Ntuli from the FLASH Unit at SAPS Emanguzi were travelling along the R22 main road (Engozeni area) towards the Farazela Port of Entry at the Mozambican border.
South African communities are faced with various crimes and it has been a challenge to every citizen to play a role in bringing all perpetrators to justice by working hand-in-hand with the South African Police Service.
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.
December 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.