• In what ways did the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the illegal drug trade? We explore how traders changed their modi operandi in an article published from p14 in Servamus: June 2022.

  • Dogs are known for their excellent sense of smell. Read our article published from p30 in Servamus: June 2022 about how a South African company has trained dogs to also detect COVID-19.

  • The floods of April 2022 caused havoc and death in KwaZulu-Natal. Fortunately, hundreds of search and rescue specialists used their skills to help search for those who were in need. Refer to an article published from p36 in Servamus: June 2022.

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By Kotie Geldenhuys

It is the duty of SAPS officials to serve and protect the citizens of the country. But policing is a risky job and we easily forget that police officials are also human and often find themselves in situations where they too become victims of violence. Interestingly, there is a lot of research about crime committed by police officials, but not that much about police officials who have become victims of crime.

Although police officials are exposed to many dangers on the job, society seldom consider police officials as victims. When looking at the most common definition of a victim, it refers to “a person who experiences crime”. Researchers into victimology, such as Eliasson (2021) argue that being a victim can “expand beyond experiencing a crime and apply to a person who experiences harm”. Research indicates that police officials experience different types of victimisation on the job which can have a direct and indirect physical, mental and economic impact on a police official. As a result of violent and non-violent victimisation in the line of duty, these have negative consequences for their well-being. Despite the fact that they can be victims too, their stories of victimisation are seldom “headlined in the media, placed on political agendas, or discussed in local communities. Due to the lack of inclusion on these platforms, police officials are invisible victims” (Eliasson, 2021).

There is no doubt that there are some police officials who act violently and engage in police brutality. And although there are no excuses for their inappropriate behaviour, one must remember that South Africa is one of the most violent countries in the world, where police officials are under attack daily. According to Gallup, the global polling group, South Africa is ranked the fifth most dangerous country out of 144 countries (Business Tech, 2020). I still remember that many years ago a police official who worked at one of the Gauteng Flying Squads told Servamus that they almost have to duck and dive to avoid flying bullets or endure verbal abuse from community officials on a daily basis.

A large part of police officials' job comprises "dealing with drunks, with the insane, with the dead, with the vice-ridden, with the ill" (Mawby and Zempi, 2018). Therefore, it can be said that the police's role is a necessary but "an exceedingly unpleasant and in some sense a degrading one" (Mawby and Zempi, 2018). The policing functions of crime prevention, protecting the public and maintaining public order ensure that police officials are placed in conflict situations in which they encounter hostility, aggression and violence (Emsley, 2014). One such an incident happened on 6 July 2021 when an angry mob swarmed around police after a routine drug bust in the Florida area of Gauteng's West Rand. The police searched a drug house where the occupants kept two pit bull terriers as security. While the police searched the house, one suspect released one of the dogs which attacked one of the police officials. The dog bit the ankle of the police official's protective boot and subsequently gained a vice-like grip on the police official's calf. As the police official's colleagues were unable to free him from the dog's jaws, they were forced to shoot the vicious dog. All this commotion drew the attention of onlookers and those connected to the suspects, who started protesting angrily about the arrest of the suspects. The police called for back-up and several police and private security companies arrived at the scene to disperse the mob. The police arrested the three suspects while the police official who had sustained the dog bite, was transported to hospital (Westerdale, 2021).

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[This is an extract of an article published in Servamus: April 2022. If you are interested in reading the rest of the article that discusses the extent of the problem, the reasons for violence against police officials, the types of attacks and whether police officials can be protected against such attacks, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out what you need to do. Ed.]

Servamus - June 2022

According to the World Drug Report for 2021, as released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), drug use resulted in the deaths of almost half a million people in 2019 (UNODC, 2021).
By Kotie Geldenhuys
In December 2011, 38-year-old Janice Bronwyn Linden from Durban was executed in China.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
WhatsApp and Telegram have become popular tools to send messages quickly and at almost no cost.
By Annalise Kempen
We all know someone who has been struggling with an addiction - ranging from prescription medication to illegal drugs, alcohol to gambling or even shopping.
Compiled by Annalise Kempen

Pollex - June 2022

Section 304(4) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows:
Read More - S v Essop (Case no 432/2020) [2021] ZASCA 66 (1 June 2021) (SCA)
Mr Aadiel Essop, the accused, pleaded guilty before the regional court (“the trial court”) on 45 counts of contravening section 24B(1)(a) of the Films and Publications Act 65 of 1996 (hereinafter referred to as the “Publications Act”), as well as one count of common law kidnapping (Afrikaans: “gemenereg menseroof”).
Read More - Minister of Justice (First Appellant) and Minister of Police (Second Appellant) v Masia 2021 (2) SACR 425 (GP)
Picture the following: On 6 August 2013, Mr Thabo Toka Mack Masia (hereinafter referred to as “Masia”) presented himself by appointment at the Atteridgeville Magistrates’ Court in Pretoria before a maintenance (“papgeld”) officer for an enquiry in terms of the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998 pertaining to the maintenance of his minor child.
Read More - S v Albro Mclean. Case no: (A112/21) [2021] ZAWCHC158 High Court Cape Town dated 12 August 2021 and 2021(2) SACR 437 (WCC)
Mr Albro Mclean, the accused, was convicted of rape in the Wynberg regional court in the Cape Peninsula whereupon he was sentenced to life incarceration.

Letters - June 2022

On Monday 9 May 2022, the National Commissioner of the SAPS, Gen Fannie Masemola along with members of his management team conducted a site visit at the joint operational centre (JOC) for search and rescue teams at the Virginia Airport in Durban.
Saturday 14 May 2022 was to be yet another day of search, rescue and recovery operations in the disaster areas of KwaZulu-Natal following the flood devastation a few weeks earlier.
June 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.