• 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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Being smart about “smart homes” by limiting the security risks
By Annalise Kempen

How many of you have thought about enjoying the convenience of curtains that draw closed automatically when the sun sets, or lights that automatically switch on when dusk falls? These days, anything is possible … and better yet, many of these conveniences can be controlled from your smartphone. The question is whether these conveniences come with a catch and security risk?

What is home automation?
Home automation is much more comprehensive than asking Alexa (Amazon’s cloud-based virtual assistant) or Siri (the virtual assistant on Apple’s operating systems) to switch on the lights or the kettle. Aliza Vigderman, senior editor and Gabe Turner, chief editor of security.org explain that home automation is the automatic control of electronic devices in your home. Since these devices are connected to the Internet, they can be controlled remotely. With home automation, devices can trigger one another so you don’t have to control them manually via an app or voice assistant. This means that you can, as an example, add your lights to a schedule so that they turn off when you normally go to sleep, or you can have your thermostat turn up the air-conditioning about an hour before you return home from work to cool down or warm up your house. The purpose of home automation is to make life more convenient and it can even save you money on heating, cooling and electricity bills (Vigderman and Turner, 2021).

When you home is automated, it gives you access to control any programmable electronic devices in your home such as thermostats, sprinkler systems, lights, appliances, heating and cooling systems, from anywhere in the world, as long as you have connectivity. The same principle applies to your home security such as your alarm systems, surveillance cameras, doors, locks and any other sensors that are linked to the system (Tholen, 2021).

The possibilities are endless … even in South Africa
If you think that home automation is only for the rich and famous, think again. That is not to say that it is not going to cost money, but there are ways of gradually implementing home automation. Some of the options include the following:

  • Light up your life/home

We all know that darkness is the criminal’s friend which is why it is important to not return to a dark house in the evening. With home automation your lights can be programmed to automatically switch on at a certain time in the evening, or once your drive up the driveway the outside lights can be programmed to flood the walkway to your front door, followed by the rest of the lights in your house as you unlock the door. You can even set a timer for the television to be switched on and off, along with the lights in and around your house.

  • Power monitoring and loadshedding

If you have an inverter at home, you can monitor power consumption based on factors such as the weather and loadshedding in order to ensure that you use the maximum of solar energy and batteries to save money. The home assistant will also be able to notify you about loadshedding schedules applicable for your home and office.


[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 addresses issues such as limiting the risks involved with home automation such as identity theft, location tracking, targeted attacks and home intrusion, 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.