At no stage did civil rights organisation AfriForum indicate it has, or will, take responsibility for patrolling the Limpopo River border between South Africa and Zimbabwe in the Musina area.
Earlier this week the Department of Home Affairs said in “clarification of misconceptions” around border patrols in the vicinity of the river separating the two countries it was untrue that AfriForum members were patrolling. The misconception, according to Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s department, comes from a video on social media and “other news platforms”.
The AfriForum initiative has seen two trained tracker dogs placed on member owned and operated farms. Duke and Hailey are, a statement said, trained to sniff out firearms and drugs and will strengthen the Musina neighbourhood watch’s efforts to catch smugglers and seize smuggled goods.
“Smugglers use areas of dense bush to cross the border and the sniffer dogs will assist the Neighbourhood Watch to speedily get on the trail of smugglers. Duke will aid with law enforcement at road blocks because of specific skills to sniff out firearms and drugs,” Jacques Broodryk, AfriForum campaigns manager said.
Part of the rationale to strengthen the border watch in the border town and surrounds comes from successes scored by the largely AfriForum led and staffed neighbourhood watch.
“Between June and September last year alone the neighbourhood watch in Musina helped seize smuggled goods valued at over R12 million. This had a substantial impact on illegal activities and, according to information received, some smugglers threw in the towel because of our volunteers’ efforts,” he added.
Home Affairs rightly states border line patrol responsibility is in the hands of statutory law enforcement agencies and has not “been handed to any citizen or group”. Law enforcement, in the form of police, Home Affairs customs and immigration officials as well as SA Revenue Service (SARS) personnel are on duty at ports of entry with the hands-on component of ensuring border integrity entrusted to 15 companies of mostly SA Army infantry and Reserve Force soldiers along its 4 682 km length.