• 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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Article by Kotie Geldenhuys; 
Photos by Kotie Geldenhuys, Frans van der Merwe and SanParks

In June 2017, two Chinese nationals were removed from an Istanbul-bound plane just before take-off at OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng. This was after SARS customs officials discovered ten rhino horns in their luggage. Both passengers were arrested by the police. Only three days earlier, two separate seizures of illegal rhino horn at Hong Kong International Airport were also reported. In one case, a 46-year-old male passenger was arrested after he arrived on a flight from OR Tambo International. Customs agents found 2.5 kg of rhino horn wrapped in tin foil and placed inside a food package in his check-in luggage. In a separate incident on the following day, Hong Kong customs officers made a bigger bust when they seized another 10.5 kg of suspected rhino horns. They intercepted a 23-year-old male passenger who had arrived in Hong Kong from Jakarta, Indonesia. They estimated street value of that stash was just over R3.4 million. The common thread in all three cases was that Hong Kong was the ultimate destination (Bloch, 2017a and 2017b).

Although it has been completely illegal for many years, rhino horn is still present and available for sale throughout China. And it is easy to obtain - simply walk into a so-called "antiques shop" in China and ask for it - even though the trade has been outlawed since 1993. However, the rhino horn products showcased at these "antique shops" are far from unique. They are new and are likely to have been illegally trafficked from Africa to Vietnam and then into China (Crosta et al, 2017).

The Elephant Action League (EAL), a USA-based NGO which protects nature by investigating wildlife crime, exposing the criminals, traffickers and corrupt individuals behind it and helping law enforcement gather information and evidence, has initiated Operation Red Cloud, an undercover intelligence gathering and investigative operation. Operation Red Cloud was executed over a period of 11 months from August 2016 to June 2017, to target the latter part of the rhino horn supply chain in China and Vietnam.

Crosta et al (2017) argue that unprecedented consumer demand for rhino horn in China and Vietnam is creating extraordinary economic incentives for poaching and trafficking in African countries. Rhino horns can command prices as high as $60 000 p/kg, driving poaching rates higher than they have been in two decades across Africa. According to the Department of Environmental Affairs, as of 2016, poaching has increased by more than 8000% in South Africa since 2007 (1054 rhino were poached in 2016, compared to 13 in 2007). South Africa is where 79% of the African rhino population resides. On 24 July 2017, the Minister of Environ-mental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa, said that there has been a slight decrease in the number of rhino poached nationally in 2017. A total of 529 rhino have been poached since January 2017, compared to 542 in the same period for 2016, representing a decrease of 13 rhinos. With regard to the Kruger National Park (KNP), which has traditionally borne the brunt of poaching, a total of 243 rhino carcasses were found between January and the end of June 2017 - compared to 354 in the corresponding period in 2016. This represents a decrease of 34%. Emslie et al (2016) note that, for Africa as a whole, the total number of rhino poached during 2015 was the highest in two decades at 1342. Although poaching rates slightly declined in 2016 in most African range states, the crisis is not yet resolved.

Emslie et al (2016) argue that the trade is further highlighted when reviewing the quantity of horns hitting the market. According to a CITES report for CoP17, "illegal sourcing of horns from poaching, natural mortality, stockpile thefts, pseudo-hunting and private sector sales suggests that an estimated 8691 (2674 on average annually) rhino horns were obtained from October 2012 through (to) 2015". Seizures of rhino horn during this period totalled only 2111 horns, so the remaining 6580 rhino horns ultimately hit the illegal market. This is double the quantity estimated for the previous CITES reporting period and represents approximately 20 tonnes of rhino horn moving out of Africa and into illegal trade in a mere three-year time span (Emslie et al, 2016).

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[This is only an extract of an article published on pp 20-23 in Servamus: September 2017. The rest of this article looks at the human toll in poaching; the use of rhino horn; the ban and the partial lifting of the ban on trade as well as an international operation mapping the supply chain of rhino horn. 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.