• 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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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 - 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.