• Do you know about the different types of spyware, its dangers and how you can protect yourself? The article published from p15 in Servamus: October 2021, will provide readers with valuable information about this dangerous software.

  • Along with family and colleagues, Servamus pays tribute to police members who have lost their lives in the line of duty – and to COVID-19. Our article published from p44 in Servamus: October 2021 reminds readers about the dangers our members face each day.

  • The Cybercrimes Act 19 of 2020 has been promulgated and will soon come into operation. Our legal discussion will help readers to understand this new legislation and is published from p22 in Servamus: October 2021.

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By Kotie Geldenhuys

The Internet has opened up massive communication and business opportunities to billions of people across the globe. The expansion of Internet access has also resulted in a subsequent growth of online markets. This means that the Internet is the world’s biggest marketplace which is open for business 24/7, has no boundaries, is largely unregulated, is free and mostly anonymous (IFAW, 2014). This provides easy opportunities for any criminal activity including the multibillion-dollar illegal wildlife trade which is gaining ground on the Internet.

Since the Internet has become a global bazaar, E-commerce and social media platforms provide new and easier routes to advertise illegal wildlife and its products. Organised criminal groups are increasingly using these online platforms to facilitate the transnational trafficking of wildlife products (UNODC, 2020). A wide range of species are targeted for their products including ivory, rhino products, tiger products and even live exotic animals such as the African grey parrot and blue and yellow macaws (Ebersole, 2020) are advertised openly on a variety of websites on the open web (websites daily used by people) and social media platforms.

The number of online advertisements of illegal wildlife products has increased exponentially over the years. An investigation by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) over a six-week period early in 2014, found that the trade in endangered wildlife took place on 280 online marketplaces in 16 countries. It was further found that a total of 33 006 endangered wildlife and wildlife parts and products from species listed on CITES Appendix I and II were available for sale in 9482 advertisements. Of these, 54% were for live animals while 4% were for animal parts and products (IFAW, 2014).

Online platforms join the fight against the illegal wildlife trade
During a 2007 investigation conducted by the IFAW, 400 elephant ivory items were identified on the eBay platform in the United Kingdom. eBay became the first online marketplace that pledged to ban the sale of ivory on its site in 2008 (Coghlan, 2008). Although eBay joined more than 30 international tech, e-commerce and social media companies and conservation groups in 2018 to form the global Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online (Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online, 2020), ivory sales continued on eBay (Alfino and Roberts, 2020). The goal of the coalition, which is led by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Traffic (a wildlife trade monitoring group) as well as the International Fund for Animal Welfare (Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online, 2020), was to reduce cyber wildlife trafficking by 80% by the end of 2020. However, despite the coalition’s good intentions, it impossible to quantify wildlife trafficking online because deals are so often done covertly (Ebersole, 2020).

In 2017, the USA’s National Whistleblower Center claimed that Facebook was facilitating illegal activity on its platform. To support their claim, they called in the help of two former law enforcement agents who logged onto Facebook and created profiles representing themselves as ivory dealers. They posted photographs from safari trips on their profiles, to make them look like authentic ivory traders. They then sent friend requests to suspected wildlife traffickers in Vietnam and joined Facebook groups where those individuals were active. As these two former law enforcement officers do not speak Vietnamese, they used Google translate to type words such as “ngà voi” and “s ng tê giác”, ivory and rhino horns. Within no time, they had infiltrated a network of hundreds of ivory traffickers who were just too eager to buy their products (Ebersole, 2020). Ironically, Facebook was one of the members that joined the Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online in 2018.


[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: October 2021. If you are interested in reading the rest of the article, send an email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out what you need to do. Other issues that are discussed in this article deal with investigative and prosecution challenges, including the fact that removing adverts can hamper investigations; and crime fighting tools.]


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Servamus - October 2021

The Internet has opened up massive communication and business opportunities to billions of people across the globe.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Cyberspace continues to revolutionise the way we all live, work and play and with it comes great opportunity for economic prosperity, job creation and technological innovation to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges such as tackling COVID-19, which has been a shared challenge across the world.
By Victoria White, First Secretary (Cyber), British High Commission Pretoria and Peter Goodman, Strategic Advisor to the UK Digital Access Programme
As if the protests and looting in KwaZulu-Natal in July 2021 were not enough to paralyse port operations in Durban for more than a week, Transnet, which is responsible for handling the commercial sea route, was also targeted on 22 July 2021 with a strain of ransomware.
Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys
Whenever the term “forensics” is used, one is reminded about the Locard exchange principle of “every contact leaves a trace” which states that no perpetrator can leave a crime scene without leaving some trace.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - October 2021

Background On 31 March 2017, Mr Nolan van Schalkwyk, the accused, and another man (hereinafter referred to as “the second assailant”) attempted to rob the complainant, who was walking towards the Rentech Station in the Belhar area in the Cape Peninsula at around 06:15, while on his way to work. It was still completely dark.
Relevant law Section 86 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 (hereinafter referred to as “the ECT Act”) provides as follows:

Letters - October 2021

It’s with great pleasure that I write this e-mail to you.
“GUN FREE SOUTH AFRICA welcomes draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill” When I receive Servamus in the post, at the first opportunity, I remove the wrapping and scan through the contents. Typically, the in-depth reading would take place later.
October 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.