• 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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Women in law enforcement are nothing strange these days, but it was not always the case. For years it was a no-go area for South African women as it was regarded as a male-dominated environment. But in the early 1970s the situation changed when the South African Police opened recruitment for women. Fifty years later female police officials are involved in almost every discipline in the police.

By Kotie Geldenhuys

When the South African Police (SAP) took the decision in 1971 to recruit female police officials, many policemen were sceptical about this move. On 6 November 1971, the Commissioner of the South African Police described the role of the proposed Women’s Police Force: "Naturally, women police will be employed in specific tasks, particularly in cases where female accused and witnesses are involved, but primarily also in criminal cases where the complainants are women ... The women will receive basically the same departmental training as male members of the force, with less emphasis, however, on the military aspect" (Potgieter, 2012). When the former deputy principal of the Helpmekaar Meisieskool in Johannesburg, Miss Duveen Botha, was recruited as the head of "vrouepolisie" (women police) in 1971, there was no time to look back on this decision, and the sceptical men had to accept that women were to become part of the police. Ms Duveen Botha was appointed at the rank of lieutenant-colonel and her second in command was Maj Ansie Nel. After completing their training at the SAP Training College in Pretoria, they took charge of the Women Police Section and assisted with the selection of women who applied for enlistment.

This month, 50 years ago, on 1 March 1972, 102 white women started their five-month long basic training at the SAP Training College in Pretoria. After completing their basic training, these women did not do general police functions, such as patrols, but were mainly employed in the areas of victim support and administration. It was only in 1975 when 11 white women attended a detective course and three women attended a candidate officer's course.

One of the first women to join the police was Elize Visser. During a brief interview, she told Servamus that she had always admired a uniform. One of her friends' father was a police official in the small Overberg town of Napier. He was always perfectly dressed and he did his job with respect and in a caring way, which made a huge impression on her. While working in nursing, she saw an advertisement about the police intending to train women in 1972. Her application was successful and she started her training. She later worked at the Women Police Section at Police Head Office under the command of Brig Duveen Botha, who, according to her, was one of the people who had the greatest influence in her life. Brig Visser said that she will always remember the recognition they got from the parents of the young women in training. "They would always thank us for what we do for their daughters," she said. Brig Visser mentioned that she had many highlights in her career and that she loved every moment as a policewoman. "After I had made my decision to join the police, I never looked back," she noted. She retired from the police in 1995 at the rank of brigadier. Her message to young women in the police is to uphold the Code of Conduct which will serve as their motivation to always give their best to the police.


[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: March 2022. If you are interested in reading the rest of the article highlights some of the first policewomen in the country, 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.