• Do you know about the different types of spyware, its dangers and how you can protect yourself? The article published from p15 in Servamus: October 2021, will provide readers with valuable information about this dangerous software.

  • Along with family and colleagues, Servamus pays tribute to police members who have lost their lives in the line of duty – and to COVID-19. Our article published from p44 in Servamus: October 2021 reminds readers about the dangers our members face each day.

  • The Cybercrimes Act 19 of 2020 has been promulgated and will soon come into operation. Our legal discussion will help readers to understand this new legislation and is published from p22 in Servamus: October 2021.

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Compiled by Annalise Kempen

Fire and water - two elements of nature that result in opposite reactions: when one stares at a firepit or a bonfire and listens to the sound of water such as a waterfall or waves breaking, it typically makes one calm and relaxed. Yet, these same two elements have caused the greatest kinds of destruction on our planet and are two elements that no motorist would ever want to encounter while driving.

Who could forget the situation a few years ago when Ford Kuga owners feared for their lives as some of these sport utility vehicles caught fire? It resulted in the manufacturer issuing a safety recall for the affected models to address an engine overheating condition that could cause a fire. In their January 2016 statement announcing the recall, Ford said that the engine overheating was caused by a lack of coolant circulation which can lead to a crack of the cylinder head, and therefore an oil leak. "When leaking oil reaches a hot engine surface, it can potentially catch fire," the statement read. The manufacturer further warned that when a Kuga owner (driver) notices an indication that the engine may be overheating or warning lights on the instrument cluster, they should pull over as soon as it is safe to do, switch off the engine and ensure that all occupants are safely out of the vehicle. The vehicle manufacturer cautioned about opening the bonnet and recommended that the driver called the emergency services first and then roadside assistance (Ford, 2017). Unfortunately for Ford Kuga owners, and despite the recall, in January 2018, another Kuga caught fire, bringing back the nightmare for these vehicle owners (Wheels24, 2018).

According to the American Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), approximately one in eight fires in the USA is a highway vehicle fire and that approximately 171 500 such fires occurred annually between 2014 and 2016. These vehicle fires resulted in at least 345 fatalities and 1300 injuries each year (DriversEd.com). Even though the USA has a population of more than 330 million people, making these statistics a drop in the ocean, any incident that results in death and injury is a concern. Although there are no accurate statistics available for these types of incidents in South Africa - our country's high rate of violent protests, increases all drivers' chances of being caught in such a life-threatening situation. Along with what happened to some Kuga vehicle owners, it is important to be prepared when such an eventuality occurs.

Flames are not the only danger
Although we all fear being caught in any fire and not being able to escape, there is another threat when it comes to vehicle fires. According to an article published by Arrive Alive (Nd(a)), the true danger lies in toxic fumes since vehicles have a lot of synthetic materials that can emit harmful and deadly gases when they burn. One of the main by-products of fires is carbon monoxide - a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas. The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, weakness, headache, an upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. Sadly, if you inhale too much carbon monoxide, you can lose consciousness and it can be fatal (CDC, 2021).

Vehicle fires generate tremendous heat, with parts of the vehicle that can explode due to the heat and which will result in debris being shot out over great distances. Fires may also cause the airbags to deploy, while hazardous substances such as battery acid can cause injury even without it being ignited (Arrive Alive, Nd(a)).

Possible reason for vehicle fires
Without getting technical about the mechanics of a vehicle, there are different reasons why a vehicle can catch fire which include a road crash, mechanical failure, electrical malfunction, fluid leaks or a design problem (Serafini and Serafini, 2018) or when they are deliberately set alight such as during protest actions. Dale Lomas (2020), a journalist writing in a blog post for the National Motorists Association, informs us that more than half of vehicle fires are due to technical issues such as improper usage or the installation of additional equipment. And a vehicle's age is not a deciding factor - rather its condition and maintenance…

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: August 2021. The rest of the article notes more reasons for vehicle fires; provides tips on how to prevent a vehicle fire and what to do when a vehicle burns. We also provide valuable tips on what you have to do when your vehicle is submerged and tools that can help you to escape. If you want to find out how you can read the rest of this article, 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 - October 2021

The Internet has opened up massive communication and business opportunities to billions of people across the globe.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Cyberspace continues to revolutionise the way we all live, work and play and with it comes great opportunity for economic prosperity, job creation and technological innovation to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges such as tackling COVID-19, which has been a shared challenge across the world.
By Victoria White, First Secretary (Cyber), British High Commission Pretoria and Peter Goodman, Strategic Advisor to the UK Digital Access Programme
As if the protests and looting in KwaZulu-Natal in July 2021 were not enough to paralyse port operations in Durban for more than a week, Transnet, which is responsible for handling the commercial sea route, was also targeted on 22 July 2021 with a strain of ransomware.
Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys
Whenever the term “forensics” is used, one is reminded about the Locard exchange principle of “every contact leaves a trace” which states that no perpetrator can leave a crime scene without leaving some trace.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - October 2021

Background On 31 March 2017, Mr Nolan van Schalkwyk, the accused, and another man (hereinafter referred to as “the second assailant”) attempted to rob the complainant, who was walking towards the Rentech Station in the Belhar area in the Cape Peninsula at around 06:15, while on his way to work. It was still completely dark.
Relevant law Section 86 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 (hereinafter referred to as “the ECT Act”) provides as follows:

Letters - October 2021

It’s with great pleasure that I write this e-mail to you.
“GUN FREE SOUTH AFRICA welcomes draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill” When I receive Servamus in the post, at the first opportunity, I remove the wrapping and scan through the contents. Typically, the in-depth reading would take place later.
October 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.