The thoroughness exhibited by soldiers during searches for contraband during Operation Corona border protection duties was again shown with the recent discovery of small, but potentially, dangerous items.
“It will not rank among any of the ‘big’ busts but is an important one,” said Lieutenant Colonel Piet Paxton, SO1, Operational Communication at SANDF Joint Operations Division, on the seizure of a number of safety fuses and a blasting cap.
“When put to their proper use in conjunction with explosives this find is notable,” he said adding the necessary information about it was “already” with the SA Police Service.
During May and June soldiers stopped a total of 1 588 undocumented people, the majority attempting to illegally enter South Africa from Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
“More than 60% of those stopped were in Limpopo and Mpumalanga with KwaZulu-Natal the next biggest contributor at around 10%,” Paxton said.
Stopping the amount of contraband smuggled into South Africa for illegal sale without the necessary import duties and taxes being paid is ongoing for the 15 companies deployed on border protection. Their biggest successes invariably come with the interception of smugglers coming from Mozambique and Zimbabwe and to a lesser extent Eswatini and Lesotho.
May and June saw soldiers confiscate contraband conservatively valued at R6,7 million with counterfeit designer clothing and shoes making up the major part. Dagga valued at R5 million was also confiscated.
Livestock valued at R1,3 million and comprising cattle, sheep, goats and other small stock was recovered on the KwaZulu-Natal and Free State provincial borders.
Soldiers also prevented 27 vehicles, all SUVs, double cab and other bakkies and trucks, from being taken out of South Africa along the Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal borders. These stolen vehicles are, by and large, destined for buyers or chop shops in Mozambique.