• 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

Blood dripping from stairs like waterfalls and maimed bodies; decomposed bodies covered with maggots; small children crying out in pain after being raped by someone they trus-ted; and women with bruised faces and bodies who shamefully try to hide their pain and humiliation are just a few scenarios that police members come across when they are called to a crime scene. Not all crime scenes look the same: some crime scenes come without the blood and gore, but still have an enormous impact on those who have to deal with them. Imagine having to watch the footage of how a child is raped online or having to inform a pensioner that a thug has scammed them out of their hard-earned retirement money. Crime scenes come in different shapes and sizes and have an impact on police members who have to deal with them regularly.

The SAPS’s working environment is characterised by increasing violence and high crime rates. It therefore comes as no surprise that these police members’ work is much more dangerous and stressful than those of their counterparts in Europe, North America or Australia (Mushwana, Govender and Nel, 2019).

Police work is challenging in many ways and police members have to respond to crime scenes and other violent situations, such as apprehending violent criminals during a cash-in-transit heist or removing victims from a dangerous domestic violence situation. As police members are obligated to maintain law and order, it is expected of them to make the right decisions in extremely stressful situations and within seconds. Sometimes they are forced to use lethal force to effectively resolve dangerous situations. And despite them not being trained to be “killing machines”, there are some situations when police members are obligated to shoot another person, such as an armed robber, to defend themselves and/or to protect the lives of civilians. In such cases police members experience moral injury “as they attempt to reconcile the fact that they had been obligated to perform their duties (eg defend a civilian) with the fact that they had been obligated to shoot (often fatally) another human being (eg violent armed offender)” (Papazoglou and McQuerrey Tuttle, 2018). That moral injury refers to the moral and ethical challenges experienced by frontline professionals in the line of duty (Litz, Stein, Delaney, Lebowitz, Nash, Silva and Maguen, 2009).

Other times police members have to save and protect victims when it is expected of them to show compassion towards victims of crime. This can cause compassion fatigue, a term which was coined by Prof Charles Figley from the USA in 1995 (Papazoglou and McQuerrey Tuttle, 2018). Compassion fatigue can be a serious occupational hazard for those in any kind of helping profession, including the police. My personal opinion is that members of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Units and K9 Search and Rescue teams are especially vulnerable to suffer from compassion fatigue.

Police members constantly have to switch between being empathetic and not showing emotions (Mushwana et al, 2019), despite the fact that responding to different crime situations is not easy. Police members are human after all, and not superhuman or emotionless beings as some people tend to think. They experience fear, shock, horror, disgust and sadness, like others do, but they have to suppress these emotions when they respond to crime scenes. To properly deal with conflict and crime scenes, they must distance themselves emotionally from what they are busy doing, which is not easy.


[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: September 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. This article also focuses on occupational health and safety; the psychological issue which is a no-go area for many police members and seeking help (or their refusal to do so).]

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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.