• 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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Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys
Photos courtesy of Pixabay

We live in an age where many people share virtually every aspect of their lives on social media. We know exactly where they eat, what they eat, where they shop, what they buy, where they go on holiday, how they relax, which meetings they attend or friends they visit. Sharing things on social media comes almost instinctively to many people and this does not change when they have children. They want to share everything about this new bundle of joy: from their birth to the first tooth, the first smile, the first step, the first school day, the first sports game, and all the precious moments in between. They want their friends and family to see all of these achievements. It is has become so common for parents to share photos of their children that there is even a special term for it, namely "sharenting" (Ohwovoriole, 2021).

Children who have been born during the last two decades will have the largest digital footprint in history. Some of them have made it onto social media even before their birth when their parents uploaded sonar scans of the expected bundle of joy to the Internet. Each time parents log their children’s milestones, track their children’s movements and broadcast their lives on social media, these children’s digital identity becomes a “goldmine of information” (Internet Health Report, 2019). A report by the Children’s Commissioner of England which was released in November 2018 found that on average, by the age of 13, parents have posted 1300 photos and videos of their children on social media. This information explodes when children themselves start engaging on these platforms and by the age of 18 there will be a total of nearly 70 000 posts (Children’s Commissioner, 2018). In 2022, the London School of Economics and Political Science found that by the time children are two years old, more than 80% of them have a presence online. The average parent shares at least 1500 photographs of their child before they turn five (Bamford-Beattie, 2022).

The reasons why parents like to share photos of their children range from creating a record of memories to building an image online (Ohwovoriole, 2021). As many first-time parents find themselves in deeply unfamiliar territory, sharing with others helps them to build a sense of camaraderie and community. They also share photos and information about their children because they are proud of them and their achievements. In cases where families live apart or are extended, the sharing of photos via social media is regarded as a good way to keep everyone up-to-date with how the children are doing (Bamford-Beattie, 2022). Sharing also helps people to feel less lonely when going through difficult patches in their parenting journeys. However, sharing photos of children on social media comes with some risks (Ohwovoriole, 2021).

The risks

  • Identity fraud

There is no certainty about what the effect of sharenting would be on individuals in the future, but what is sure is that sharenting creates a digital footprint for the child which can have negative consequences including the loss of privacy, financial scams and potential embarrassment to the child (Siibak and Traks, 2019). According to a report released by Barclays Bank, sharenting will be the cause of two-thirds of identity fraud and financial scams facing young people by the end of 2030 (Internet Health Report, 2019) and will cost £667 million per year (Couglan, 2018).
Three vital pieces of personal information that is used for identity theft is a person’s name, date of birth and home address. Parents often share this directly in their social media posts or it can be derived from photos or updates on social media accounts, for example when a photograph of a child on their birthday is posted where the location is tagged. “Identity theft is a huge problem. Sometimes a post could include the child’s full name, date of birth, city … Just a few clicks will reveal the parents’ personal information. Combine this information with data breaches and social security numbers readily available on the Dark Web and you have a recipe for easy identity theft and obtaining false credit in the child’s name,” cautioned Kim Komando, a digital lifestyle and cybersecurity expert from New Jersey in the USA (Ohwovoriole, 2021). There are reports of children’s data being stored until they turn 18, at which point fraudulent loans and credit card applications were made. Additional information such as a mother’s maiden name, names of pets and names of schools might also be gathered through a parent’s social media account, making it even easier to commit fraud given that these details are often used as security questions (Couglan, 2018).


[This is an extract of an article published in Servamus: May 2022. If you are interested in reading the rest of this thought-provoking article that discusses more risks of sharenting; what can be done to share safely on social media; sharing and the law; and whether you can share photos of other people’s children, 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.