• 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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Article and photos by Kotie Geldenhuys

“When the whole world pressed the reset button, policing continued. When world economies collapsed, policing continued. When businesses closed down, policing continued. When everyone was locked down in their homes, policing continued. When news of police officers who were arrested for wrongdoing made headlines, policing continued. When statistics of the COVID-19 infections skyrocketed to alarming figures, policing continued ... When the invisible enemy attacked everyone, including police officers armed with bulletproof vests and machine guns, policing continued ...” - Minister of Police, Mr Bheki Cele (SAPS, 2020a).

During their daily duties police officials are exposed to a unique set of challenges. But during the past couple of months, law enforcement agencies faced even more challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During pandemics, such as COVID-19, law enforcement agencies are responsible for working with government and public health officials to contain the spread, serve the local community, maintain public order and conduct their normal policing duties.

As police officials are the first to deal with the public when a crime is committed or to enforce the law, they also have to face the threat of violence against them. During the past couple of months, they have been presented with a new invisible threat, namely COVID-19. Although every person runs the risk of being exposed to this virus, law enforcement comprises “inherently close-contact work with strangers and some of the most marginalised people”. Police officials are therefore on the frontlines when dealing with pandemics and enforcing response measures, while they are simultaneously at a greater risk of exposure and infection (Poston, 2020).

Despite the SAPS’s best efforts to keep the virus at bay by getting police officials to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitise their hands, vehicles and work stations and maintain social distancing while enforcing the law, many infections occurred. The Minister of Police, Mr Bheki Cele announced that by 31 December 2020, 21 294 SAPS employees had already been infected with COVID-19, of whom 336 had sadly already lost their lives to the virus (SAPS, 2020b).

One of the first police members who lost his life due to COVID-19 was Capt Andrew Leslie, the acting commander of Middelburg Police Station in the Eastern Cape. According to his wife, who also tested positive, he might have contracted the virus from another police member who was working with him at a roadblock (Dayimani, 2020). His death on 11 May 2020 came as a huge shock and people reacted in various ways while grieving the passing of a great policeman. Some had a lot of questions, while others blamed government for not taking care of their employees. When Servamus shared the news of Capt Leslie’s passing on our Facebook page, Facebook user (a police member) made the following comment: “I blame Government and SAPS Management for not providing us with proper PPE and we are expected to go outside and police adults that don’t want to listen and can’t even control their own children. We have a Minister that is only making a lot of noise and is more concerned about alcohol and kissing.”

The same shock and disbelief were clear when the news broke about the passing of Lt-Col Raymond Monyai, the Station Commander of Boschkop Police Station in Pretoria on 5 July 2020. Police members who knew him well and who worked closely with him were shocked by his passing. One member told Servamus in disbelief just days after his passing, that “we just had a meeting with him last week and today he is gone”.


[This is an extract of an article published in Servamus: February 2021. If you want to read the rest of this article with the real-life stories of police members who survived COVID-19, but also the impact on them mentally and on service delivery, 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.. 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.