• We cannot drive while on “autopilot” while doing other things such as using our cellphones, applying make-up or eating. Our article in Servamus: April 2021 explains why it is dangerous to multi-task while driving.

  • Do you agree that having more roadworthy vehicles on our roads will contribute to road safety and less crashes? If you don’t, read our Community Safety Tips in Servamus: April 2021 where we explain why we believe it would.

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Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys
Selected photos from Centrum Guardian Project

Road crash scenes do not make for a picture to remember. In fact, they often make for the worst of scenes when people, covered in blood are lying on the tar road, while others are still trapped in a vehicle screaming for help. Too often these crashes are so severe that the victims have been mutilated beyond recognition. Imagine trying to help the survivors, while their family is hysterically begging the first responders to save their own and their loved ones’ lives. Imagine having to tell a parent that there was nothing that could be done to save their child and witnessing families mourning someone they loved. These are the realities which traffic law enforcement officers, police officials, paramedics and members of the fire brigade who respond to road crash scenes have to deal with regularly.

It can be very hard for emergency responders to cope with fatal road crashes, even though they have been trained to deal with them. A former commander of the Accident Combating Sub-Section at SAPS Head Office, Supt Rob Askew once told me:
“I have faced death on a few occasions, I’ve walked in the blood of victims of road crashes, I’ve given heart-breaking first aid, I’ve seen people die, I’ve conveyed death messages to the loved ones of deceased persons, and I’ve seen policemen ‘crack’.” These words will stay with me forever, as will the story of another former SAPS crash scene investigator from KwaZulu-Natal. He once told me that he had worked at fatal crash scenes for years and witnessed many maimed and burned bodies at a road crash scene, but that there is one scene which shook his whole world. That was a crash where a baby died. As he lifted the body of the baby from the baby seat the milk was running out of the baby’s mouth. The baby had no bruises and there was no blood, it looked as if the baby was sleeping. Another investigator told me about a crash where the driver’s brain was found on the back seat of the vehicle and how that scene affected him. Over a lifetime of service, many first responders can recount times when it was difficult to separate the personal from the professional.

Arriving at crash scenes like these is never easy but, first responders have to put on a professional and brave face. Yet first responders are human too and eventually, they too can only take so much of having witnessed such scenes. Stress not only comes from being at a fatal crash scene, but also from the emotional toll of informing a family about the death of a loved one. The stress these first responders face, is not only experienced in the short-term, but often results in health problems in the long run.


[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: April 2021. If you are interested in finding out how you can read the rest of the article which discussed the health problems associated with trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder; the importance of seeking help and warning signs that a first responder may need counselling, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..]

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Servamus - April 2021

They are all over our roads, they stop wherever they want to, ignore red traffic lights and are motorists’ worst nightmare.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Desperate to get the Umgeni Municipality’s attention to fix the dangerous potholes on the roads in the Howick area in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, residents participated in a tongue-in-cheek pothole fishing competition at the end of February 2021.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Road crash scenes do not make for a picture to remember.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
It is not unusual to hear or read about a serious or fatal vehicle crash where one of the drivers was under the influence of alcohol.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - April 2021

Read More - Alternative mechanisms required - S v Frederick and Another 2018 (2) SACR 686 (WCC)
Two independent and unrelated matters were referred for review to the High Court in Cape Town (“the review court”), at the same time and by the same magistrate (“the trial court”).
Read More - Booysen v Minister for Safety and Security 2018 (2) SACR 607 (CC)
This is a matter in which Mr Johannes Mongo, who was a SAPS constable reservist, shot and wounded his girlfriend, Ms Elsa Booysen.
Read More In the matter between - Ms Nomachule Gigaba (Née [born]) Mingoma - The applicant; and Minister of Police - the first respondent; Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation - the second respondent (hereinafter referred to as the Hawks); Maj-Gen M O Ngwenya - the third respondent and attached to the Hawks; Capt K M Mavuso - the fourth respondent and attached to the Hawks; Sgt Norton Ndabami - the fifth respondent and attached to the Hawks; National Prosecuting Authority (“The NPA”) - the sixth respondent; and WISE4AFRICA - the seventh respondent. Case number 43469/2020 ZAGPPHC55 dated 11 February 2021, High Court, Pretoria (GP).
The applicant in this matter, Ms Gigaba, is the estranged (Afrikaans: “vervreemde”) wife of the former Cabinet Minister, Mr Malusi Gigaba.

Letters - April 2021

After being side-lined for the past 11 months due to COVID-19, Captain Khumalo is returning to active duty. Captain Khumalo has returned to child-care centres and schools across Cape Town from 17 February 2021, to resume his mission of educating children on safety issues.
Die Bejaardesorgfonds vir afgetrede polisielede het op 5 Maart 2021 ‘n groot geskenk van die Klub79+1 groep in die vorm van ongeveer 600 gebreide blokkies en klaargemaakte komberse ontvang.
April 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.