SANDF making a difference along the border


The South African National Defence Force is making a clear difference in the Kruger National Park.

Since deploying an infantry company there in March, actual and attempted incidents of rhino poaching has fallen from a 40 in March – the highpoint this year – to 30 in April, 15 in May and just two in June. By Wednesday, no incidents had been reported for July.

Noteworthy is that the troops are from the formerly troubled 21 South African Infantry Battalion based at Lenz and Doornkop in southern Johannesburg. Some of the unit’s troops gained the battalion a modicum of infamy when running riot outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria in August 2009.

Brigadier General “Koos” Liebenberg, director conventional operations at the Joint Operations Division of the SANDF this week said there had been no disciplinary problems with the troops since deploying into what is arguably South Africa’s prime tourist attraction. A fillip indeed.