• 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 Annalise Kempen

When times are tough, people are looking for bargains including finding an affordable, reliable second-hand vehicle. In as much as we believe that online searches can help us to save time and money when we are looking for a vehicle, criminals are taking advantage of the use of technology by posting the “best and most affordable deals ever” while waiting for their next victim to contact them.

Meet Susan, a young woman who has just entered the job market. Her vehicle was stolen at her office merely a month after she had started her first job. Since she was still driving her student vehicle which she had inherited from her grandmother, she realised that the money that she was to receive from the insurance pay-out would only be sufficient to use as a deposit on another vehicle. Susan was desperate to find another vehicle soon. Her first port of call was finding a vehicle via an online platform as she was not in a position to drive from one vehicle dealer to another in search for an affordable car.

We all know that our Internet search history is no secret - in fact those who are active on social media platforms will soon find advertisements related to product searches on their timelines. That is because of algorithms used by Facebook and the likes that show our activities across Facebook pages and which help to show us adverts which they think we might be interested in (www.facebook.com). Since Susan is also an active social media user, it was not long before she found various advertisements for “reliable and affordable second-hand vehicles” on her Facebook timeline. But sadly, her desperation to find another vehicle as soon as her insurance claim was settled, prevented her from doing proper homework before she committed to buy a bargain. Susan bought a vehicle which looked good on paper, but was later confiscated by the police since it was a stolen vehicle sold as a “bargain” by online dealers.

Risks when buying a stolen car
For the period between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020, more than 46 000 vehicles were reported stolen to the SAPS, while an additional 18 000 vehicles were hijacked in South Africa. Criminals would either opt to chop up these vehicles to use their parts, to sell them to those who had pre-ordered them or to unsuspecting clients in the second-hand vehicle market. Not only do you risk losing your money and the newly-purchased (stolen) vehicle if it is impounded, but the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) (2017) warns that your insurance claim will be rejected if you have a claim for such a vehicle.

Be alert when you buy a second-hand vehicle
So-called bargains often come with risks, and when it comes to buying a vehicle, you risk buying either a stolen vehicle or one that promises to have all the bells and whistles on paper, but hardly has a reliable engine or service record. Once you have decided on the type and make of vehicle you want to buy within your price range, do not only contact the first seller or dealer on the list. Do some research on the organisation or dealer by looking at consumer feedback forums and even social media to find out what their customer and after sales services entail (Cartrack, 2019).
Even when you are desperate to get your hands on another vehicle, you should never forget the following basics when buying a second-hand vehicle.

  • Always buy from a reputable dealer

You limit the chances of buying a stolen vehicle when you buy from a reputable dealer since it would be in the dealer’s best interest to ensure that they do not buy or sell vehicles that have been stolen. Even if you buy from a dealer, there are various checks which a prospective buyer can run to limit the risk of buying a stolen vehicle (AA, 2017).

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[This is only an extract from an article published in Servamus: March 2021. If you are interested in reading the rest of the article in which we elaborate on more basics that you need to adhere to when buying a second-hand vehicle; how you can use technology to mitigate your risk; what you should do before hitting the road and some tips for sellers, contact Servamus’s offices by sending an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or a fax: 0866 358 956 to enquire. Ed.]

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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.