More stolen vehicles recovered by SANDF soldiers on border patrol


Vehicle smugglers failed in their attempts to smuggle nearly half a dozen vehicles out of South Africa after South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers intercepted them on the borderline, while smugglers attempting to bring illicit cigarettes into South Africa with the help of corrupt police, were busted with over R1 million of contraband.

Captain Moses Semono from Joint Tactical Headquarters Limpopo this week reported that members of 1 SA Tank Regiment deployed under Joint Tactical Headquarters Limpopo recovered multiple vehicles in one night. Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Heidi Dalton, 1 SA Tank Regiment was busy with waylay operations near the Kruger National Park when they spotted four vehicles driving towards the Limpopo River.

“Our soldiers had to manoeuvre in the right place where they assumed that the vehicles would try to cross. But unfortunately, as there is no road, the vehicles changed direction and that forced our soldiers to break cover,” Semono explained. “Once approached, the occupants started shooting at our soldiers and the SA National Defence Force members returned fire. The suspects escaped into the bushes.”

However, the soldiers confiscated the four vehicles, which were all Toyota Fortuner models, and handed them over to the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Semono reports that in another incident, 1 SA Tank Regiment were monitoring the South Africa/Zimbabwe border when they spotted vehicle lights moving towards the Limpopo River. The vehicle was intercepted, and the occupants fled towards Zimbabwe. A Toyota Starlet was recovered, and found to have been stolen at Olievenhoutbosch in November 2022. The vehicle was handed over to the South African Police Service for further investigation.

Military Police, meanwhile, also played their part in Operation Corona border protection taskings by seizing R1.3 million worth of illicit cigarettes. Joint Operations Tactical Headquarters North West reports that Military Police officials at Gopane Operational Base received a tip-off that a white truck transporting illicit cargo would be using the Skilpadhek Port of Entry to enter South Africa from Botswana.

SANDF members at Gopane Operational Base stopped the truck and found boxes of illicit Dunhill, Marlboro, and Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes worth R1.353 million. The driver of the truck, who is a Zambian national, confirmed that two South African Police Service members were escorting the truck in uniform using their personal private vehicle. They will be investigated by the SAPS.

The Officer Commanding Joint Tactical Headquarters North West, Colonel MJ Ramakatsa, congratulated the Company Commander of Umzimbuvu Regiment Major J Nzimande, Intelligence Officer, Military Police Commander, and the entire deployed troop at Gopane Operational Base for their work.