Soldiers confiscate R3 million plus worth of drugs in May border ops


Drug smuggling and livestock theft were major focus points for South African soldiers posted on the country’s land borders in May with over R4 million worth of livestock and drugs recovered.

In contrast to April, when the border protection tasking Operation Corona saw 1 170 illegal immigrants detained and handed to police or Department of Home Affairs (DHA) immigration officials, soldiers last month stopped less than half that amount – 556 – attempting to cross South African land borders without the necessary documentation.

As is by now the norm, the majority of illegals came from Zimbabwe (256) and Mozambique (195). Next highest in number terms was landlocked Lesotho which borders South Africa’s Eastern Cape (55 illegals stopped) and Free State (22 illegals).

Batswana and Namibians were – as always – in the minority of foreigners seeking illegal access to South Africa. Eighteen undocumented persons from South Africa’s north-western neighbour were stopped and handed to the relevant authorities with four Namibians finding themselves in custody.

Livestock recoveries totaled 149 head along provincial borders with Zimbabwe (71), Botswana (48) and Lesotho (20). The stock recovered on the Botswana border is identified as cattle with the Joint Operations Division of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) not specifying others.

Drugs, mostly dagga, with an estimated South African street value in excess of R3 million, were confiscated by soldiers on foot and mobile patrols, acting on information from observation posts and local communities. In this category Mozambique was a “clear leader” losing more than R1.5 million worth of illegal drugs. Next “best” was Zimbabwe with smugglers losing R354 000 plus worth of drugs to eagle-eyed soldiers.