• Despite heavy rains, the SAPS managed to host a successful national athletics championship in Pretoria at the end of March 2018. Read about the events and the winners in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 52-54.

    Despite heavy rains, the SAPS managed to host a successful national athletics championship in Pretoria at the end of March 2018. Read about the events and the winners in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 52-54.

  • Part 2 of our Crime Series discussing the shocking events of how Christopher Panayiotou had his lovely wife, Jayde, killed. Read about his conviction and sentence in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 34-43.

    Part 2 of our Crime Series discussing the shocking events of how Christopher Panayiotou had his lovely wife, Jayde, killed. Read about his conviction and sentence in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 34-43.

  • On 26 March 2018, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety and the City of Cape Town recognised the top Neighbourhood Watch structures in the Cape Town Metropole for their contribution to fight crime. Read the article in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 46-49.

    On 26 March 2018, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety and the City of Cape Town recognised the top Neighbourhood Watch structures in the Cape Town Metropole for their contribution to fight crime. Read the article in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 46-49.

  • Children should be taught about road safety from an early start – but parents have an equally important responsibility to ensure that the transport their children use to school is safe and registered. Read our articles in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 56-59.

    Children should be taught about road safety from an early start – but parents have an equally important responsibility to ensure that the transport their children use to school is safe and registered. Read our articles in Servamus: May 2018 from pp 56-59.

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By Annalise Kempen

Imagine sending your children to a school where the teachers are armed with pistols? How outrageous and potentially lethal is such a thought? Shockingly that’s apparently not what the US President thought when he commented that “if he (a coach) had a firearm ... he would have shot and that would have ended”. This comment was made at the White House in Washington DC after yet another school shooting happened in Florida in the USA where 17 people were killed in February 2018. The US President was listening to and commenting on pleas from students and parents affected by mass shootings, who had met him to actually plea for meaningful action to curb gun violence.

Shocking school shootings statistics
South Africans are accustomed to being exposed to violence. One only has to look at the SAPS’s official crime statistics for the 2016/2017 report year which showed that more than 600 000 different contact crimes were reported for that period, which included 19 016 murders! But when violence seems to be targeted at a specific community or group, it makes one stop and ask why.

The shootings at schools in the United States are not something about which we have only recently heard. In fact, although the first shootings at American schools took place in the 1800s, it was the Columbine shooting on 20 April 1999, which saw two shooters kill 13 others and injuring more than 20, which made society take note of the violence being perpetrated on school grounds. The documentary Bowling for Columbine, produced and directed by Michael Moore, explored the circumstances that led to this tragedy. It also looked at the proliferation of guns, the lack of gun control and had many people sit up straight in their chairs about how easy it was to buy a firearm. And yet, more than 15 years after this documentary’s release, it does not seem that it contributed to American authorities rethinking gun control in an effort to curb school shootings. In fact, the Washington Post reported that 187 000 children attending 193 primary and secondary American schools have experienced a shooting on school grounds during school hours, since the Columbine tragedy in 1999 (Chiu; Horton and Jenkins, 2018).

In the first 12 weeks of 2018 alone, there have already been 17 school/university shootings where someone was hurt or killed! The one on Valentine’s Day at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida counts as one of the worst when 17 students and staff members were killed. The shooter, Nikolas Cruz, had apparently been expelled from the high school due to disciplinary problems. In another incident, a few weeks earlier on 23 January, a 15-year-old student shot 16 people, killing two other 15-year-olds at Marshall County High School. This young student faces two murder charges, among others (Ahmed and Walker, 2018).

Will carrying guns solve the problem?
The utterance by the US President regarding arming teachers following the Florida school shooting incident, had many people questioning whether such a step would actually do any good. The Florida shooting was the deadliest school shooting since 2012 when 26 people were killed in Sandy Hook, Connecticut (Gunter, 2018). The BBC reported that hours after two schoolchildren had died and 14 more were injured after a classmate opened fire outside a Kentucky school, a Republican State Senator rushed to file a bill that would allow Kentucky schools to have armed marshals patrol the site. This bill came alongside a similar one which sought to loosen gun restrictions around college campuses. Ironically, one would assume that there would be the political will to reduce the guns and enforce stricter gun control, but alas! Gunter (2018) writes that reforms that aim to increase, rather than decrease, the number of firearms in schools and other public buildings, and arm teachers and school staff as a means of defence have been set in motion. “And the senator's proposal is testimony to that - he even got support from his political opponent who said that ‘we need armed officers in every school in Kentucky. That is a small price to pay if it saves one’s child’s life’.”

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: May 2018. The rest of the article asks whether schools, communities and families do anything to curb school shootings; whether there are any warning signs to prevent shootings. To enquire how to obtain the rest of the article, contact Servamus’s offices at tel: (012) 345 4660/22 or send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

What are your thoughts on armed teaching? Please share them with us. On Facebook: Servamus Community-based Safety & Security Magazine or on Twitter @Ser_va_mus; or send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Servamus -May 2018

“Ever since the incident, I’ve never felt the same and my life is not normal."
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Imagine sending your children to a school where the teachers are armed with pistols?
By Annalise Kempen
“Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.” - Doug Firebaugh.
By Annalise Kempen
Social workers found Manny in the care of a Portuguese-speaking woman who was not his mother.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - May 2018

Read More - S V DW 2017 (1) SACR 336 (NCK)
The accused, Mr DW, appeared before the magistrates’ court (apparently in the town of Kakamas, near Upington), on a charge of housebreaking with intent to commit an offence unknown to the prosecutor*.
Read More - S V MM 2018 (1) SACR 18 (GP)
Section 7 of the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008 (“the CJA”) provides as follows: “7. Minimum age of criminal capacity
Read More - NDPP v Mr PDP and Others 2017 (2) SACR 577 (NCK)
First, Pollex was told that only a person with a valid driving licence can be the owner of a motor vehicle, except when such person pays cash for the motor vehicle concerned.

Letters - May 2018

Lt-Col V G Naidoo, a retired police officer from Durban, received an honorary membership of the SAPS Athletics Association for his invaluable contribution to the sport over a number of years.
The Special Investigations Unit of the National Council of SPCAs has been strongly supported by the West Rand K9 Unit and has been assisted by some very dedicated and passionate police officials in their endeavours to bring the perpetrators of animal cruelty to justice.
Following the excellent investigation conducted by Capt Swanepoel, Adv Marius Stander, senior state advocate, wrote the following evaluation report in recognition of Capt Swanepoel's service and in order for him to be considered for an award.
May 2018 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.