The Military Police Division of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) bought 174 vehicles, including 36 motorcycles, in the 2012/2013 financial year, for use in safeguarding South Africa’s borders.
The vehicles are worth R46 million, according to the Department of Defence (DoD) annual report for April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013. “These vehicles will greatly assist the MP Div in the execution of their operational tasks,” the report said.
The Military Police play an important role in safeguarding South Africa’s borders, through Operation Corona, with 120 members deployed to the borders during the last financial year. “This endeavour is a continuous effort by the MP Div to prepare and provide military police members to Joint Operations Division to participate in joint operations and exercises,” the DoD said.
There are currently in the region of 2 000 soldiers, Special Forces operators and SA Air Force elements working border protection along the Mozambique and Zimbabwe borders. This number includes signallers, SA Army Intelligence Formation scouts, SA Military Health Services (SAMHS) personnel and other support elements.
By year-end some 15 companies will be deployed on the borders with Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Swaziland.
The DoD said that despite “structural inadequacy and budget constraints,” the Military Police Division “achieved most of its predetermined plans successfully” during the year under review.
A total number of 2 288 cases were finalised during the FY2012/13 period, with the Military Police reducing the number of criminal cases under investigation that go to court by 11.4%, which was slightly more than targeted.
Military police were employed on a number of operations in 2012/13, with 227 members embarking on internal and external operations. 107 military police personnel were externally deployed, 76 were deployed in support of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Monusco), two as part of Mission Thebe (training DRC personnel), and two as part of assistance to the Mozambican Defence Force with Counter Piracy Operations in the Mozambique Channel.
14 members were deployed as part of the General Military Assistance (training and capacity building) operation to the Central African Republic (CAR) and 13 members were deployed as part of the SANDF contingent in support of the United Nations/African Union operation in Darfur (Unamid).
During the floods in Mozambique at the beginning of this year, four military police members escorted aid convoys during relief operations in Mozambique. During the last financial year, 354 military police members took part in the disciplinary process involving the 2009 Union Buildings marchers.
Apart from their regular work, the military police also conducted training and diplomatic exercises, training 14 Mozambican Defence Force members on the Advance Motorcycle Riders course. The MP Division hosted military police from the Tanzanian Defence Force in March 2013, and hosted the Uganda Chief of the Armed Forces visit to South Africa in February this year.