Recently, the current affairs in South Africa have raised some serious flags. Femicide, missing children, protests and xenophobia plague social media posts and news headlines around the country. 

To say South Africa is in a sad state of affairs is an understatement but we’re taking a look at what is happening, how you can keep safe during this time and possibly even make a change.

The current affairs

The current affairs topics seem to centre around four main headlines – femicide, missing children, protests and xenophobia.  

Femicide 

By definition, femicide is the killing of females (being an adult or child) due to their gender. 

The murder statistics in South Africa are terrifying. Statistics from 2017/2018 show that 20 336 people were murdered of which 16 421 deaths were adult men and 2 930 were adult men. This may raise questions of why the outrage about women who were murdered if the amount is significantly lower? 

The answer to this is that the vast majority of women who are murdered are murdered by men and are murdered because they’re women. Men are murdered (more often than not) by men and these murders are not always related to sex crimes nor are they based on gender. 

According to an article by News24, South Africa is rated third in the world with the highest femicide rates. This is something deeply concerning and the safety of women all over our country is constantly in jeopardy. This is why it is vital that important safety measures are known, such as; 

  • Use apps like Life360 and Namola; Life360 is a location-sharing app where you can manage which ‘circles’ of friends and family you wish to share your location with. The Namola app is a South Africa-specific emergency app that allows you to send emergency responders your location and details when you’re in a dangerous situation. You can also share your location with a close loved one on this app.   
  • Keep a can of pepper spray on you (in your bag, in your car, as you walk).
  • Use a GPS to avoid getting lost in unfamiliar places.
  • Always let a friend or family member know where you are, where you are going and when you have arrived – it may sound pedantic but this could be what saves your life.
  • Limit distractions like checking your phone while walking to or from your car.
  • Avoid waiting in your car, driving with the windows open and keep the doors locked.

Missing Children

The rate that children are going missing in South Africa is devastating. This is a horrific thought for parents. There are multiple children missing in South Africa with one case in particular that went viral. A  6-year-old girl was kidnapped in front of her school right in front of her mother. A R 2 million ransom was demanded but due to the attention the case had garnered, the little girl was returned by the kidnappers. This is just one case with a happy ending but this is not the case in most instances. 

Some tips to keep your children safe include;

  • Never leave your child alone in public areas.
  • At social functions and public places like schools, places of worship or anywhere else, write your cell number on the inside of the child’s’ forearm.
  • Teach your child your contact numbers in case they need to get a hold of you.
  • You can buy your child a watch with a tracker inside, this way you can see where your children are, even when they’re not with you 

Protests 

South Africa has become known for its many protests and while these protests are done with due cause, they can spiral out of control.

It is essential to remain “in the know” on your current affairs and the unrest experienced by copious amounts of South Africans. Recently, protests on anti-femicide, poor service delivery and xenophobia are plaguing the streets. It is important to stay safe if you’re close to these protests;

  • Social media can help you find out about various activities
  • Check your usual route before you leave the house to ensure it’s clear
  • While you’re driving, make sure there are no hazards on the road and avoid areas where protests are taking place. 

Xenophobia

Xenophobic violence against Africans in South Africa is spreading and becoming increasingly violent. According to an article by the Mail & Guardian, “outbreak of mob violence and xenophobia was allegedly orchestrated by members of the All Truck Drivers Forum (ATDF), which held mass meetings that went into last weekend in different parts of Gauteng.”

The violence is widespread and has led to the burning and looting of various stores throughout the country and unnecessary harm to many people. 

The xenophobic attacks put South Africa in a terrible light internationally and have generated retaliation from the individuals who are under attack. The best solution is for the government to step in and take control of the situation but until then, it would be best to avoid areas where there is known unrest and to do your best to stay safe during these trying times. 

South Africa is in desperate need of intervention, the country is in a horrible state of disarray and the safety of many South African lives are at risk. Keep safe but if you feel at risk or need any advice on how to enhance your safety, feel free to contact us

More than 16,000 cars are stolen or hijacked each and every year, and this number isn’t decreasing anytime soon. The province with the highest occurrence of occurrence of this crime is with no surprise, Gauteng, where the population is dense and traffic a common occurrence. As this issue is not a new phenomenon in South Africa, many of us have already taken precautions to avoid this type of crime. We religiously lock our cars when driving or parking our cars, we generally keep our windows closed, and we’ve installed alarms, trackers and other deterrent systems. However, time and time again this has proved to have little to no effect on our safety. The problem is also that criminals no longer simply take our cars and leave, but instead resort to violent attacks against individuals and families.

Violence during hijacking increases

According to a report by Tracker, one in ten hijacking incidents prove fatal. The criminals inflict physical harm on their victims as a means to persuade cooperation. Victims have been shot, stabbed and assaulted, the injuries of this often leading to very serious medical implications. Not to mention the very serious mental and psychological damage caused by this traumatic incident. Hijackers have even targeted those with children in the car, affecting vulnerable families on the roads.

It is imperative to avoid a hijacking at all costs. The main way to avoid an incident is by avoiding areas known for these crimes, or “hot-spots.”

Which are the worst areas for hijacking?

You should be vigilant at all times on the road. However, there are particular areas in South Africa for hijacking that include:

  • Nyanga, Western Cape -276 reported hijackings
  • Jeppe, Gauteng – 262 reported hijackings
  • Booysens, Gauteng – 198
  • Honeydew, Gauteng – 184
  • Moffatview, Gauteng -183
  • Delft, Western Cape – 175
  • Johannesburg Central, Gauteng – 169
  • Kempton Park, Gauteng – 168
  • Vosloorus, Gauteng – 158
  • Tembisa, Gauteng – 156
  • Umlazi, KwaZulu Natal – 150
  • Khayelitsha, Western Cape – 144
  • Cleveland, Gauteng – 143
  • Dobsonville, Gauteng – 142
  • Kwazakele, Eastern Cape – 139
  • Moroka, Gauteng – 131
  • Mfuleni, Western Cape – 126
  • Roodepoort, Gauteng – 124
  • Harare, Western Cape – 124
  • Bramley, Gauteng – 123
  • Mamelodi East, Gauteng – 123
  • New Brighton, Eastern Cape – 122
  • Mondeor, Gauteng – 121
  • Alexandra, Gauteng – 120
  • Soshanguve, Gauteng – 120
  • Pinetown, KwaZulu Natal – 117
  • Atteridgeville, Gauteng – 113
  • Ivory Park, Gauteng – 112
  • Florida, Gauteng – 109
  • Rietgat, Gauteng – 108

Who are the biggest targets?

According to statistics, the types of cars that are hijacked include mostly vehicles that are under five years old. These newer vehicles have a higher resell value – whether that is for the car itself or the parts on the car. There is also a rapid increase in four-wheel drive vehicles stolen. What is the number one car targeted? Toyotas, as this type of engine is widely used for minibus taxis.

When hijacking becomes life-threatening

Hijackers often steal cars out of desperation and don’t consider the impact of the victims. Things can turn ugly very quickly as adrenaline and emotions run high.

What can you do to protect yourself and your family?

  • Vigilance is key – always be aware of your surroundings, especially situations where your car is stopped
  • Take extra caution when stopped at an intersection, when filling up petrol or when arriving at your destination – these are key spots for hijackings
  • Be aware of being stopped by false police officers that pull people over – if you are unsure if these are imposters or not, turn on your hazards, slow down and head to the nearest police station
  • Take note of being followed home or to work, and don’t stop at your destination if you suspect you are being followed

What to do in event of a hijacking

  • Stay calm and listen to the demands of the hijackers
  • Be careful to not look them directly in the eye
  • Never argue with a hijacker
  • Don’t make any sudden or fast movements
  • Don’t reach for any belongings

Overall the most important thing to remember is that your life is more important than your car or belongings. If you require protection during travel for your family, don’t hesitate to contact us.

There is a growing trend among homeowners and tenants in South Africa that corresponds directly to the rise in crime. The concept is not unique to South Africa but has in the past few years rooted itself deeply into our existence. We’ve now got an estate for just about any kind of lifestyle you want to live – golf, country, equestrian, retirement and eco-friendly. You name it, there’s an estate for it. While the idea behind an estate that lets you live your life the way you want it is fantastic, things aren’t always as they seem.

Most of what residential estates will offer South African’s is safety and unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. There is definitely an increased prevention of small-scale crime, but this isn’t the type of crime you should be worried about. South Africa’s infiltration of organised and violent crime can still affect you behind the walls of your estate. Here’s how:

A perimeter isn’t everything

The high walls, electric fencing and motion detection cameras in an estate all do a wonderful job in deterring crime. This certainly protects you from most home robberies, petty theft and hijacking, but what it doesn’t guarantee you protection from, is organised crime. Once criminals have gained access to the estate, there is not much between them and their target.

There is also a growing trend in estates where a crime syndicate will move into a home for a short period of time, during which they monitor the behaviour of residents. They use this time to plan and calculate their attacks, as well as to gain easy access to the estate. It may seem like a tedious process but when the reward is high enough, it’s a risk the criminals are willing to take.

VIP’s and business executives are particularly at risk of this high profile crime due to well-known wealth status. VIP’s and executives should take extra precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of their families.

Entry and exit points

The gates of an estate don’t seem like the optimal spot for criminals with the increased number of guards and patrol cars present. However, they are actually a crime hotspot when it comes to hijackings as people tend to relax as they approach the gates. Access controlled gates also mean that during peak hour traffic, you may become a sitting target in the line to get into your estate. But these entrances aren’t the biggest problem in terms of resident safety, as we discuss in depth below.

A false sense of security

The main security problem when it comes to estate living is that people inside the estate become complacent. When you live in a “safe” environment, you tend to put your guard down and ignore nagging suspicions that might pose a risk to your safety. This way, you end up missing something that could have alerted you to trouble. Your children are also at risk of heinous crimes like kidnapping for ransom. For more on this issue, see our blog on the issue of child kidnapping in South Africa.

Here are some tips to help you stay vigilant and measures you should take to stay safe:

  • Take caution when leaving and entering estate gates
  • Keep car doors locked and windows closed, even when inside the gates
  • Keep front doors of your home locked
  • Install an alarm system in your home
  • Report suspicious behaviour in the community
  • Make sure you’re domestic staff and gardeners have references and understand the importance of safety precautions in the home
  • Don’t leave valuables in a visible place where passers-by can see them
  • Get to know your neighbours surrounding your home and be active in the community discussions to increase your knowledge of issues and events that take place

Lifestyle estates offer many benefits to your standard of living. But if you’re looking for the perfect solution for your safety and the safety of your family, a security estate is not enough. If you need a holistic security solution, contact Arcangel Protection Services today.

In the industry of protection services, we see and hear about a lot of different crimes, threats and attacks, but there are none that keep us up at night quite like the crime that involves children. You may think it is the topic of nightmares, simply monsters in the night that only exist in our fears, but the reality is that it is very real. Child kidnapping is increasing in South Africa, and the reason why will frighten you even more. More and more children are taken from their homes by heinous criminals for random, and worse still – trafficking. While it is not something that is easy to discuss, it’s vital to understand to ensure the safety and well-being of your own family. Below, we touch on the current situation in South Africa and go in-depth into measures you can take to ensure your child’s security.

The reality of kidnapping in South Africa

We’ve seen a rise in kidnapping as a whole recently, where organised crime syndicates kidnap important businessmen and women and hold them for ransom. In the cases where criminals have succeeded in their attack, they are highly trained groups armed with deadly weapons. There have, however, also been cases of inexperienced “copycat” criminals who have gotten away with the crime.

Why would criminals risk such a crime? Social activist focused on fighting crime, Yusuf Abramjee, states that “Out of three kidnapping cases – and I’m not going to mentions which three – I know the gangs have cashed in to the tune of R50 million.” The reward for criminals in South Africa is noticeably higher than the risk, making it an increasingly desirable act for gangs and syndicates. Kidnapping expert Martin Ewi states that South Africa is on it’s way to becoming Africa’s new kidnapping hotspot, where we are starting to see an average of 3 kidnappings per month.

Children held for ransom

Unfortunately, your reward becomes far higher and your risk even lower where children are concerned. This is because kidnapping an unsuspecting, trusting and unaware child is far easier to lure than an adult. The reward is also often greater, as families would be willing to do anything to get their child home safely. It is of utmost importance to ensure your child’s safety at all times because kidnapping is a traumatic and damaging occurrence to the entire family.

The issue of child trafficking

According to Missing Children South Africa, a child goes missing every five hours in South Africa, and the unfortunate truth is that most of these children are cases of child trafficking. Due to this growing epidemic, South Africa has had to amend it’s immigration laws. It has even been reported that many of the kidnapping cases involve members of the family or someone that the child knows.  

How can you keep your children out of harm’s way?

Now more than ever, it’s important to know where your child is at all times. It is your responsibility as a parent to keep your child safe.

Safety tips for parents:

  • Never leave your child alone in public areas
  • At social functions and public places like schools, places of worship or anywhere else, write your cell number on the inside of the child’s’ forearm
  • Teach your child your contact numbers in case they need to get a hold of you
  • Keep your child’s ID documents/ birth certificates in a safe place, preferably locked away where only you can access them easily
  • Know where your child’s dental and medical records are
  • Emphasise that your child never talks to strangers
  • Don’t post pictures of your children on social media
  • Disable “geo-tagging” on all kids devices
  • Enhance privacy and security settings on children’s devices
  • Know your children’s social passwords and monitor their activity
  • Talk to your children about the dangers – they can accept and absorb these conversations far better than you may think.
  • Have a serious conversation with your child’s school – discussing topics such as collection from school and how no other person may collect your child from school without verified contact from you.

Things to teach your children:

Your child should know a few simple things when it comes to strangers:

  • They are never to walk or drive anywhere with strangers
  • Adults never need the help of children, if an adult asks for help with something, the child should speak to you, the parent, immediately
  • Kids should be loud and vocal when a stranger approaches them, yelling “stranger” or something to that effect
  • If someone grabs a child, they should be taught to kick and scream and violently attack the vulnerable areas of the attacker’s body such as eyes, nose, throat and groin. The child must alert others around them.

What can you do if an incident does occur?

If your child has gone missing, there is no waiting period before you call the police. It is a common misconception that there is a 24 hour waiting period, however, this is not the case. Call the police or go to a police station immediately and report the situation. Email Missing Children at info@missingchildren.co.za or fax it to 0860-580-3310. Have the following information:

  1. Your child’s name.
  2. Your child’s age.
  3. The circumstances under which your child disappeared.
  4. The details of your SAPS-55(a) form, such as the name of the police officer who provided you with a case number.
  5. A recent photo of your child.

If you don’t want to leave the safety of your children to chance, we provide comprehensive protection services that cater to your needs. If you would like more information, contact Arcangel Protection Services now.