Copper is the latest addition to the growing list of goods confiscated by soldiers protecting “South Africa’s territorial integrity” as part of the Operation Corona mandate.
Soldiers deployed at the Pontdrift port of entry between South Africa and Botswana stopped a vehicle, presumably during a routine stop and search operation, at Weipe. Closer inspection revealed copper valued at over R3 400 for which the vehicle’s occupants had no explanation. They, their R70 000 vehicle and the copper were handed to police for further investigation.
Some distance from Pontdrift at the Madimbo ops base east of Musina, soldiers, according to SA National Defence Force (SANDF) communication officers, had “immense success” and confiscated just on R1 million worth of illegal cigarettes bound for spaza shops and other illegal outlets in Gauteng. Cigarettes and an unknown number of suspects were handed to police.
Even further east on South Africa’s border with Mozambique in the Manguzi area, unidentified contraband worth R800 000 was seized by soldiers who also apprehended two suspects. As per standard operating procedure (SOP), goods and suspects were handed to police.
Operation Corona sees 15 companies patrol South Africa’s land borders with Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.