• In what ways did the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the illegal drug trade? We explore how traders changed their modi operandi in an article published from p14 in Servamus: June 2022.

  • Dogs are known for their excellent sense of smell. Read our article published from p30 in Servamus: June 2022 about how a South African company has trained dogs to also detect COVID-19.

  • The floods of April 2022 caused havoc and death in KwaZulu-Natal. Fortunately, hundreds of search and rescue specialists used their skills to help search for those who were in need. Refer to an article published from p36 in Servamus: June 2022.

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By Kotie Geldenhuys

Dogs are regarded as man’s best friend and part of the family. But in South Africa with its high crime rates, dogs also form part of our security as they act as early warning systems. This has resulted in criminals poisoning dogs in an attempt to get them out of the way so that they can gain access to the dog owner’s property.

In 2019, Dr Gerhard Verdoorn, director of the Griffon Poison Information Centre, claimed that as many as 1000 dogs are poisoned in South Africa every week. During the end of July and beginning of August 2019, almost 250 dogs were poisoned in Roodepoort, Sandton, Port Elizabeth and Jeffreys Bay (Erasmus, 2019). On the night of 31 July 2019, as many as 40 dogs were poisoned in Roodepoort alone (Grobler, 2019). In a statement released by Animal Resource South Africa, it was stressed that dog poisoning is on the increase in South Africa (Grobler, 2019).

Crime and dog poisoning
Criminals are more reluctant to enter a property where the dog can alert homeowners about the presence of strangers which is why they will try to get rid of these dogs who stand between them and their bait. By poisoning the dogs, the homes are easier targets for housebreaking or theft. Dogs that sleep outside the house to protect the family typically fall victim to these unscrupulous people who will throw poisoned meat over the fence, usually in the early hours of the morning. They will then wait for an hour or two, to make sure the dogs are dead before they return to carry out a burglary or an armed robbery often attacking those inside and stealing their cash, valuables and vehicles (Pyatt, 2019). Dr Verdoorn reminded us that poison is also used during farm attacks to eliminate guard dogs (Grobler, 2019).

The type of poison used
Dr Gerhard Verdoorn indicated that the most common poison used to poison dogs remains Aldicarb (with the trade name Temik) which is a grainy black substance that looks like poppy seed and is also known as “two step”. “It’s called that because you take two steps and then you die,” he said. Aldicarb is the primary active substance used in some pesticides. Although it is banned in parts of Europe (Grobler, 2019) and can no longer legally be sold in South Africa since April 2012 (Erasmus, 2019), it is still used in Zimbabwe, from where it is smuggled into South Africa by crime syndicates (Grobler, 2019). It is easily available at informal shops and taxi ranks, where it is sold in small plastic bags. Anticoagulant Rat Poison (Carte Blanche, 2019) and insecticides such as Carbofuran and Terbufos are also commonly used. These highly toxic poisons are usually placed in viennas, Russians or mince and then fed to the dogs (Grobler, 2019).

Suffering until they die
“Death is almost guaranteed when a dog is given a high dosage of Aldicarb ... What happens is that the animal’s nervous system shuts down. It is paralysed and then suffocates to death,” Dr Verdoorn explained. He added that the poison is very potent and that almost 97% of animals poisoned die. In fact, Dr Verdoorn explained that it is so potent it would take a large dog 20 minutes to die while a smaller dog could be dead within five minutes (Grobler, 2019). Anticoagulant Rat Poison takes a bit longer to take effect but is equally lethal (Carte Blanche, 2019). Dr Larry Kraitzick from Bruma Lake Veterinary Clinic asserts that one teaspoon is enough to kill a grown rhino and 1 mg can kill a rodent. “This substance is more poisonous than arsenic,” he stressed (Kraitzick, Nd).


[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: March 2022. If you are interested in reading the rest of the article that informs you how to keep your dogs safe; discusses the signs and symptoms that a dog has been poisoned and gives you advice on what to do when your dog has been poisoned, 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 - June 2022

According to the World Drug Report for 2021, as released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), drug use resulted in the deaths of almost half a million people in 2019 (UNODC, 2021).
By Kotie Geldenhuys
In December 2011, 38-year-old Janice Bronwyn Linden from Durban was executed in China.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
WhatsApp and Telegram have become popular tools to send messages quickly and at almost no cost.
By Annalise Kempen
We all know someone who has been struggling with an addiction - ranging from prescription medication to illegal drugs, alcohol to gambling or even shopping.
Compiled by Annalise Kempen

Pollex - June 2022

Section 304(4) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows:
Read More - S v Essop (Case no 432/2020) [2021] ZASCA 66 (1 June 2021) (SCA)
Mr Aadiel Essop, the accused, pleaded guilty before the regional court (“the trial court”) on 45 counts of contravening section 24B(1)(a) of the Films and Publications Act 65 of 1996 (hereinafter referred to as the “Publications Act”), as well as one count of common law kidnapping (Afrikaans: “gemenereg menseroof”).
Read More - Minister of Justice (First Appellant) and Minister of Police (Second Appellant) v Masia 2021 (2) SACR 425 (GP)
Picture the following: On 6 August 2013, Mr Thabo Toka Mack Masia (hereinafter referred to as “Masia”) presented himself by appointment at the Atteridgeville Magistrates’ Court in Pretoria before a maintenance (“papgeld”) officer for an enquiry in terms of the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998 pertaining to the maintenance of his minor child.
Read More - S v Albro Mclean. Case no: (A112/21) [2021] ZAWCHC158 High Court Cape Town dated 12 August 2021 and 2021(2) SACR 437 (WCC)
Mr Albro Mclean, the accused, was convicted of rape in the Wynberg regional court in the Cape Peninsula whereupon he was sentenced to life incarceration.

Letters - June 2022

On Monday 9 May 2022, the National Commissioner of the SAPS, Gen Fannie Masemola along with members of his management team conducted a site visit at the joint operational centre (JOC) for search and rescue teams at the Virginia Airport in Durban.
Saturday 14 May 2022 was to be yet another day of search, rescue and recovery operations in the disaster areas of KwaZulu-Natal following the flood devastation a few weeks earlier.
June 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.