Official border protection statistics collected, collated and released by the Joint Operations Division of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) show cross-border livestock theft remains a headache, particularly on the Lesotho/South Africa border.
Eighty-seven head of cattle and a similar number of what is termed “small stock” referring to goats and sheep were recovered by soldiers deployed on Operation Corona on both the Eastern Cape and Free State borders with landlocked Lesotho. The November statistics have it soldiers also recovered livestock in KwaZulu-Natal, where its southern inland border is common with Lesotho.
The total value of livestock recovered is estimated at over R800 000.
The theft and subsequent illegal removal of vehicles from South Africa, with the majority destined either for buyers or the chop-shops of Mozambique also continues unabated. Intelligence backed by patrols ensured 51 stolen vehicles did not make it out of the country.
The Limpopo border with Zimbabwe saw most – 23 – vehicles recovered in the four weeks of November with the KwaZulu-Natal/Mozambique border yielding 16 recovered vehicles. The KwaZulu-Natal provincial roads and security department is collaborating with the military in a project to position concrete Jersey barriers at known exit points used by vehicles thieves and hijackers.
Over 2 500 “illegal aliens”, or undocumented persons in government-speak, were apprehended by soldiers and handed to police and Department of Home Affairs officials in November. As has become the norm, the majority – 2 614 – were “intercepted” in Limpopo, the South African province with the longest land border with Zimbabwe. Lesotho provided the second highest – 173 – number of illegals into first military and then other government department hands.
Smuggling of contraband, including narcotics, continues with more than R8 million worth not making it to the shelves of stores, both legal and illegal, in the economic heartland that is Gauteng.