• 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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By Kotie Geldenhuys
Photos courtesy of SARS

Buying a vehicle is one of the biggest, most expensive and most important purchases many consumers will ever make. This is a very daunting experience and therefore it is important that potential buyers take the time to do their homework before making the purchase. This can save the buyer a lot of inconvenience and money. Consumers in the market for second-hand vehicles should be on high alert for unscrupulous sellers who are ready to pounce on their hard-earned cash and take them for a ride by selling an illegally imported vehicle at a “good” price.

The saying goes: when it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many gullible motorists have learned this lesson the hard way after buying cheap second-hand vehicles, only to have them confiscated because they have been illegally imported and fraudulently registered. One such a person was a pensioner from Komga who lost her life savings when she bought a 2017 Volkswagen Touran in February 2018 for R120 000, a vehicle with a price tag of around R290 000 at that stage. Her daughter introduced her to the vehicle dealer, a Congolese national, who sold the vehicle to her. She said: "I used my entire savings and money I inherited from the passing of my daughter to purchase the vehicle." In October 2018, two police officials confiscated the vehicle, informing her that it had been fraudulently registered. She called the vehicle dealer, but he denied that the vehicle was fraudulently registered and promised her that she would get her vehicle back. As can be expected, she has not heard anything from him ever since and he ignored her calls. "I have now resorted to using taxis and my grandchildren are suffering due to this," the pensioner said (Zuzile, 2019)

The number of complaints about illegal vehicles being sold in South Africa has increased substantially since 2018. Mr Lee Dutton, the Executive Director of International Vehicle Identification Desk (IVID) Southern Africa said they have recorded a four-fold rise in complaints regarding attempts that were made to sell illegally-imported vehicles in South Africa. He stated that although the IVID does not possess the comprehensive statistics for vehicles that were confiscated in 2019, the organisation is aware of more than 1000 verified seizures. Naamsa, the body representing local vehicle manufacturers and importers, claims that almost 300 000 of the 12.7 million vehicles on our roads are illegal imports (Droppa, 2020).

Import of used vehicles into South Africa
The importation of used vehicles into South Africa is prohibited under the International Trade Administration Act 71 of 2002 to protect the local motor vehicle manufacturing industry’s local manufacturing, which contributes more than 7% to the gross domestic product (GDP) and creates employment for thousands (Times Live, 2020). Mr Jakkie Olivier, the CEO of the Retail Motor Industry (RMI) explained that they have seen cases in other countries where the import of foreign vehicles has decimated the local market (Business Leadership South Africa, 2020). There are however, exceptional cases where permits will be issued to import a second-hand vehicle into the country. These cases include:

  • Immigrants with permanent residence may bring vehicles registered in their names into the country;
  • South African residents returning to South Africa with vehicles registered in their names; and
  • other vehicles that may be imported include racing cars, vintage passenger vehicles, specially designed vehicles and inherited vehicles.

The whole process is handled by the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) and the importer has to pay customs duty, calculated as a percentage of the value of the vehicle(s) to SARS (Republic of South Africa, Nd). Importers must remember that ITAC will never issue permits for the import of second-hand vehicles for use on South African roads.


[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 explain the status of imported vehicles; the origin of these illegally imported vehicles; the destruction of such vehicles; whether “owners” of such illegally imported vehicles will have any recourse and the impact on our economy, 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.