Mpumalanga/Moz border busiest for Op Corona in September

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While not South Africa’s longest with a neighbouring country, the 491 km land border with Mozambique is the leakiest, if the latest border protection statistics from the Joint Operations Division of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) are any measure.

South Africa’s eastern neighbour borders KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga with the “place of the rising sun” taking an unfortunate first in September regarding the number of illegal immigrants stopped and contraband and narcotics confiscated from smugglers by soldiers deployed on the border protection tasking Operation Corona.

A hundred and seventy-five “undocumented persons”, better known as illegal immigrants, had their journeys from Mozambique to South Africa cut short by soldiers before further “processing” by police and Department of Home Affairs (DHA) immigration officials. September also saw soldiers, working mostly from Macadamia Base, recover an undisclosed number of vehicles valued at more than R3 million and apprehend six “criminals” before handing them to police.

On the KwaZulu-Natal border with Mozambique and Eswatini, soldiers intercepted narcotics valued at R94 324 and made and five arrests in connection with drug trafficking.

Soldiers tasked with border protection along the 225 km border with Zimbabwe apprehended 137 illegal immigrants in September, confiscated over R4.4 million worth of contraband and prevented three stolen vehicles worth R215 000 exiting South Africa.

Soldiers based on Eastern Cape’s border with Lesotho halted the illegal progress of 144 undocumented persons with their colleagues on the Free State border of the landlocked country doing the same for 12 Basuto. They also, according to the Joint Operations Division, “seized 128 livestock valued at R445 800 which were grazing illegally”.

Five illegal immigrants and almost R21 000 worth of contraband was the September “haul” on the North West province/Botswana with nothing to report from the Northern Cape/Namibia border.