Two incidents of soldiers preventing stolen high-end off-road vehicles leaving South Africa give insight into another area of work apart from apprehending undocumented persons (illegal aliens), the primary tasking of border protection Operation Corona.
In the first, soldiers deployed at Madimbo on the South Africa/Zimbabwe border stopped two vehicles leaving the country. They are identified as a Toyota Fortuner (value R200 000) and a Nissan (value R250 000). No mention is made of suspects apprehended.
A second vehicle recovery took place on the South Africa/Mozambique border near Ndumo Gate Nine during a foot patrol.
Soldiers from 14 SA Infantry Battalion in Mthatha stopped a Toyota Fortuner but could not prevent the vehicle’s three occupants from escaping. The R450 000 vehicle was stolen in Rustenburg, according to police, and is currently at Manguzi police station.
There are 15 companies, mostly infantry from both the Regular and Reserve Force, patrolling South Africa’s borders. In the first three months of the year, soldiers confiscated contraband, narcotics, recovered stolen vehicles and handed 12 500 illegal immigrants to police and immigration authorities for further processing.
The majority of contraband, conservatively valued at R31 million, was taken from smugglers attempting to illegally enter South Africa from Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Narcotics worth over R21 million was confiscated.