• Extreme weather has led to more frequent flooding. Our article published from p27 in Servamus: January 2022 look at which emergency services are involved during such disasters and give tips to stay safe.

  • Large parts of South Africa have suffered a severe drought for more than 6 years. Our article published from p30 in Servamus: January 2022 look at the impact of droughts on our lives; diseases during droughts and provide tips to save water.

  • Do you know what to do in case of a hazmat incident or vehicle crash? We provide valuable tips on what to do in such cases in our article published from p37 in Servamus: January 2022.

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By Adv John I Welch

In Servamus: December 2021, I discussed how the killing or injuring of a human being may be justified in terms of our common law. The Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (the CPA) provides for the only other justification. The use of force, albeit justifiable, is a serious matter, but the taking of a life, even when you thought it should be taken, is even more serious.

Section 205(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (the Constitution) mandates the South African Police Service (SAPS) to prevent, combat and investigate crime, to maintain public order, to protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property and to uphold and enforce the law. Since these constitutional activities do not necessarily always happen, civilians may therefore be required to execute arrests, but only in accordance with the provisions of section 42 of the CPA. This section provides as follows:

"Any private person may without warrant arrest any person -
(a) who commits or attempts to commit in his presence or whom he reasonably suspects of having committed an offence referred to in Schedule 1;
(b) whom he reasonably believes to have committed any offence and to be escaping from and to be freshly pursued by a person whom such private person reasonably believes to have authority to arrest that person for that offence;
(c) whom he is by any law authorised to arrest without warrant in respect of any offence specified in that law; and
(d) whom he sees engaged in an affray."

One should think very carefully before attempting to execute an arrest. Not only could you err regarding the identity of the person, or the crime allegedly committed, but you should also think of what to do with the person after the arrest. Also bear in mind that if you have erred regarding any aspect of the arrest, you could be held liable for damages based on unlawful arrest.

In terms of section 47 of the CPA, male persons from the age of 16 to 60 years may be called upon by police officials to assist with an arrest. Also, this is a dangerous practice, since you may not even know whether the instructing person is indeed a police official or for what "offence" the pursued person is being sought. (You may ask for the police official to show you his or her appointment certificate to confirm their identity as a bona fide police official.)

Should it be necessary to use force, even deadly force, during the execution of the (citizen's) arrest one will, depending on the circumstances, usually rely on self-defence or section 49 of the CPA.


[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: January 2021. If you are interested in reading the rest of the article, 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 - January 2021

In Servamus: December 2021, I discussed how the killing or injuring of a human being may be justified in terms of our common law.
By Adv John I Welch
For many South Africans the word “disaster” became a reality in March 2020 when the President of the country, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation in the first of many “family meetings” to follow when he announced the country’s first lockdown.
By Annalise Kempen
Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, floods and hurricanes are damaging events that change the lives of people within no time.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Each year during the dry season, which for the largest part of the country is the winter months, authorities warn us about our behaviour about making fire.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - January 2022

- S v Tilayi appeal case no: CA 22/2020 High Court Mthatha dated 9 March 2021 and 2021 (2) SACR 350 (ECM)
Mr Mbiyozo Zanodumo Tilayi, the accused, was convicted during a summary trial before the High Court in Mthatha (“the trial court”) of the following offences:
Read More - Messrs (1) Sechaba Seloana; (2) Mmuso Seloana; and (3) Abraham Itumeleng Popa v (1) The Director of Public Prosecutions [for the Free State Province] [DPP]; (2) National Director of Public Prosecutions [NDPP]; and (3) the Presiding Magistrate in the Welkom District Magistrates’ Court case no: 4019/2020 High Court Bloemfontein dated 24 August 2021 (FB)
Relevant, applicable legal provisions Section 75 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows:

Letters - January 2022

NAME: W/O L Zandberg STATION: Pretoria Central Magistrates’ Court
During October 2021, my husband and I were on holiday but got stranded 10 km before Jansenville in the Eastern Cape with flat tyres.
January Magazine Cover

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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.