Another indication of the ease with which contraband and stolen goods move into South Africa comes from the Eastern Cape where soldiers deployed to protect borders recently recovered and confiscated an estimated R124 000 plus worth of drugs and livestock.
Soldiers from Makhanda-headquartered 6 SA Infantry Battalion are currently based at Maluti adjacent to the KwaZulu-Natal/Lesotho border. In addition to regular foot and vehicle mounted patrols of the borderline, soldiers also set up vehicle stop and search operations at strategic points.
One of these led them to 22 Angora goats, apparently abandoned in Hlakutwana village. The goats are estimated to be worth R39 600.
In another mission, soldiers from the SA Army’s specialised airborne infantry battalion worked with police to locate and recover stolen goats (no indication of breed is given by the SA National Defence Force). The search ended at Sehlabeni Cliff where the animals were apparently hidden from view behind a mountain. Twenty-nine goats valued at R34 800 were recovered.
Another 6 SAI patrol working the New Rest area close to the Lesotho border entered a house in search of contraband. Their efforts were rewarded when mandrax, crystal meth and dagga valued at R50 000 was found in one. The military did not indicate if the narcotics were smuggled into South Africa or if any suspects were apprehended and handed to police.