• SABRIC recently released its annual banking crime statistics. We inform you about the banking-related crimes that increased and decreased so that you can mitigate the risks. Read the article published in Servamus: August 2020 on p40 to p41.

  • Do you have a problem with gambling? We provide tips on how to identify if you have a problem; remind you about legal versus illegal gambling/betting and where to get help. Read the article published in Servamus: August 2020 on p50 to p53.

  • Chief Kenny Africa, also known as Mr 24-7 has served the road safety community for more than four decades. He retired on 31 July 2020. Read more about his passions, highlights and the message he has for young traffic officers in an article published in Servamus: August 2020 on p58 and p59.

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Compiled by Annalise Kempen

A few months ago, a ten-year-old girl in the UK who was playing a dress-up cartoon game, was asked in a private message to send a topless photo of herself to “verify her age”. The person who had sent the message wrote that since the App was a safe space for young girls and they require users to be 14 and younger and to verify it, they will need a photo of the girl’s bare chest and her age. “This is just an extra security feature but all members must do this. Users that refuse to do this will be permanently banned.” Fortunately, this girl’s mother had installed strict parental control on all of her daughter’s devices which regularly warns the girl about the dangers of speaking to strangers online. The girl immediately showed the message to her mother (Carter, 2019).

We live in a world where we talk about rights, especially in terms of freedom of speech, but where people don’t necessarily want to accept the responsibility associated with these rights. We also live in a world where computers, tablets and smart phones have become such an integral part of our lives that parents are even providing their children with technology to ensure that they stay connected. Yet, when parents take the decision to provide their children with digital devices, they must realise that it comes with the responsibility of educating themselves as well as their children about the possible dangers of cyberspace.

When parents and their children have an open relationship where regular communication and mutual trust are well-established, their children will be more likely to understand their parents’ decisions and rules relating to their online activities. Similarly, will they be more likely to discuss anything inappropriate with their parents irrespective of whether it is happening to them in the real world or in cyberspace.

Allowing your child access to a digital device with Internet connectivity should come with the realisation that your child may be either the victim or the perpetrator. For these reasons, parents have to educate themselves first about the realities of cyberspace so that they can take informed decisions about what is in their children’s best interest.

When parents allow their children access to the digital world, they are likely to discover Apps, websites and social media platforms that are not age appropriate for them. They might be too young to realise that what they see or read is not necessarily the truth with regard to people who claim to be who they are not; or that what they post or share might have negative consequences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. These are some of the first rules of the Internet that your child needs to learn and understand. Whenever your child posts negative or harmful content online, it might not only harm other people, but also affect their online reputation which might have negative implication on their future educational possibilities and employment. It is important for parents to have regular conversations about cyberbullying to serve as a reminder to their children about how their own behaviour could have negative implications on individuals as well as on their own futures, but also in terms of how easily they can become a victim of cyberbullying (www.stopbullying.gov).

Talk to your child
Knowing when to talk to your child about cyber safety is a challenge faced by all parents, yet the best time to talk to your child about online safety and behaviour, is when they start using digital devices such as smartphones, tablets or computers. If you feel uncomfortable to raise the subject, use everyday issues or something that is reported in the news, such as bullying, to initiate the discussion about their experiences and your expectations. It is vital that you are honest about your expectations, what is regarded as off-limits and what you consider as unacceptable behaviour. By sharing your values, it will help your children to make smarter decisions and be more thoughtful about what to do in tricky situations. Remember that your child’s age will depend on how much and what information you share. Don’t make this a once-off conversation, but break it down in different sections and make sure that you don’t rush through the conversation when you are busy and your child doesn’t have the opportunity to think it through. Let it sink in and ask questions about their uncertainties. Make sure that your child has the confidence and peace of mind to confide in you if they have taken inappropriate decisions/actions online or are being targeted. Consider what your actions are going to be if they break or stretch the rules, without breaking their trust to confide in you in future (FTC, 2018).


[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: October 2019 from pp 48-51. The rest of the article will give practical tips on basic steps for your child’s digital safety such as setting up a family agreement with rules; provide tips on protecting your child from cyberbullying (victim and perpetrator); provide you with tools to teach your child cyber safety in a fun way; listing software and Apps available to monitor your child’s online activities and distinguish the bad and the ugly; and concluding with tips of smart phone safety. This is a must read for all parents! If you are interested in obtaining the rest of this informative article, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (012) 345 4660 to find out how. Ed.]

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Servamus - August 2020

Over the last couple of years, far too many institutions and businesses in South Africa have taken on the unmistakable stench of moral rot. Corporate giants such as VBS Mutual Bank, Bosasa and Steinhoff have traded blue chip credibility for white-collar callousness.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
With tax season upon us, many people will again try not to pay the full share of what they owe the taxman in income taxes.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Let us be honest, many people have a love-hate relationship with insurance companies, often because they believe that they were not paid what was due to them after having submitted a claim.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
We all complain about the high costs of private healthcare and the monthly contributions we have to pay.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - August 2020

Again the handing back of the firearm by the SAPS in a domestic violence-related relationship - S v N 2016 (2) SACR 436 (KZP);
Read More - S v Chinridze 2015 (1) SACR 364 (GP)
Introduction In terms of section 51, read together with Part I of Schedule 2 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997 (which provides for discretionary minimum sentences), an accused person who is convicted of rape in contravention of section 3 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007, and where the victim is, inter alia, a person under the age of 16 years or is a person who is mentally disabled as contemplated in section 1(1) of Act 32 of 2007, shall be sentenced to incarceration for life unless, of course, there are substantial and compelling circumstances which justify the imposition of a lesser sentence.
Read More - S v Mnguni 2014 (2) SACR 595 (GP)
Introduction According to section 1 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007, the phrase “person who is mentally disabled” means “a person affected by any mental disability, including any disorder or disability of the mind, to the extent that he or she, at the time of the alleged commission of the offence in question, was -
Read More - Mapodile v Minister of Correctional Services and Others 2016 (2) SACR 413 (GJ)
Mr Mapodile, the applicant in this matter, was serving a sentence in the Johannesburg Medium B Correctional Centre.

Letters - August 2020

Capt Aubrey Moopeloa, the corporate Communication Officer of Evaton SAPS, retired from the South African Police Service on 30 June 2020 after 32 years' service as a dedicated and loyal member.
I would like to suggest that, once COVID-19 is over, a plaque be made, dedicated to all SAPS members who faithfully executed their duties, in response to the call to duty, to serve and protect the people of South Africa during the global pandemic.
August 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.