As South Africa moved into a “lighter” lockdown level in September, soldiers on border protection had to contend with increased levels of smuggling and more undocumented people entering South Africa, particularly from Zimbabwe.
Statistics released by the Joint Operations Division of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) indicate soldiers deployed on South Africa’s land borders apprehended 2 404 undocumented persons, government’s politically correct term for illegal immigrants, with 2 075 of those coming from the country ruled by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. A long way back in number terms is Mozambique with soldiers apprehending 302 people on the KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga borders with South Africa’s eastern neighbour.
The Limpopo border with Zimbabwe tops the September list of contraband seizures in monetary terms. Contraband conservatively valued at R2.5 million was handed to police and the SA Revenue Service (SARS) in September with cigarettes, although quantities are not specified, making up the bulk.
Number two on the contraband seizure list was KwaZulu-Natal with R166 871 followed by Mpumalanga with R96 482. In both instances the “country of origin” for the contraband was Mozambique.
Just on 360 kg of dagga was taken from smugglers on the Free State/Lesotho border and the borders with Mozambique and Zimbabwe and 12 vehicles, conservatively valued at R1.7 million, were recovered.