Reserve Force soldier turns down bribe


A Reserve Force soldier showed true mettle and honesty when initiating a takedown from an apparently unscrupulous supplier.

Bambatha Regiment Warrant Officer Class 2 Happy Lucia Mjekulwa is tasked with procurement/logistics on its current Operation Corona border protection deployment.

She smelt a rat when a supplier who didn’t reportedly meet SA National Defence Force (SANDF) requirements as set out in a government order (GO) “tried to bribe her with R5 000 in cash”. The money would be given to her if she signed a delivery note to the effect the “supplier has supplied and delivered all that was due,” Captain Moses Semono of Joint Operations Tactical Headquarters Limpopo reports.

The “incorruptible soldier” alerted, among others, military police and counter-intelligence with “the suspect and his money arrested and handed to the SA Police Service (SAPS) in Musina for further processing”.

Adding value to ensuring her regiment as well as the wider SANDF isn’t taken for a ride by unscrupulous tenderpreneurs, posing as businessmen and -women, is the warrant officer’s personal situation. Her sole income is from call-ups, such as the Op Corona tasking, and when not in uniform she doesn’t have a regular income.

Commending her for “a job well done”, Officer Commanding the Limpopo Joint Tactical Headquarters Colonel Choene Mabotja noted Mjekulwa was a senior non-commissioned officer (NCO) of “the standard and quality” needed in the SANDF.

The Johannesburg-based regiment also made it to unofficial dispatches by Semono for its contribution to a R10 million plus bust in and around Limpopo border town, Musina, late in July. Vehicles, illicit cigarettes and counterfeit goods were confiscated by Reserve Force soldiers working alongside police and SA Revenue Service (SARS) officials.

Four vehicles – a Toyota Quantum, valued at R250 000; a Nissan Mpendulo (also R250 000); a Nissan panel van (R100 000) and a Toyota Corolla (R80 000) along with R5.6 million worth of illicit cigarettes and counterfeit goods (not detailed) valued at R3.8 million now reside under lock and key while “processing as the law dictates” happens.

In another July operation Bambatha Rifles’ soldiers operating around Pontdrift intercepted a cigarette smuggling syndicate and confiscated over R2 million worth of illicit cigarettes and two vehicles. According toSARS estimates the cigarettes are worth R2 115 509. The seized Corolla is valued at R100 000 and Isuzu bakkie R170 000.