Border patrol Operation Corona successful – Sisulu


Operation Corona is proceeding as planned and has been successful in safeguarding the borders of South Africa and helping state agencies to reduce and curb crime, according to Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu.

“There is no doubt that we are succeeding in ensuring the territorial integrity of the Republic of South Africa in terms of the land and maritime borders as well as Air Space integrity,” she stated in reply to a parliamentary question posed by C Dudley of the ACDP.
“In line with our phased approach, phase one has been successfully executed and it covered the South Africa/Zimbabwe border line. We also prioritised the Mozambique borderline for the reason that they are the most porous and the threat especially to our endangered species, the rhinos,” Sisulu stated in her reply.

Phase two saw the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) deployed on the Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho international borders, while phase three, which began on April 1, is also focusing on these borders, with the deployment of another four military companies. This brings the total number of companies to 11. A military company consists of 150 soldiers.

Sisulu highlighted some of the successes achieved during Operation Corona, including the recovery of 76 stolen vehicles in the last 18 months; the recovery of 1 435 livestock; the seizure of 8. 365 tons of narcotics; the confiscation of R81.5 million worth of contraband; the apprehension of 35 124 illegal immigrants; and the confiscation of 19 illegal weapons.

Furthermore, the SANDF confiscated 56 kg of stolen precious metals (copper and gold), which could have otherwise found their way to the black market. “We have reduced the incentive for stealing as there will no longer be a market for these [metals],” Sisulu added. “This will contribute positively to our economy which took a nock from copper theft, for an example.”

On the matter of rhino poaching, Sisulu said the SANDF had “managed to close up syndicates involved in Rhino poaching. In my reply to the National Assembly on 29 February 2012, I shared with House a compliment from Minister Molewa, one of our stakeholders as Minister of Environmental and Environmental Affairs. She wrote “Dear Comrade Lindi, I have been suspecting that we have an inside job in this rhino poaching matter. My suspicion has turned true. I wish to thank you and the Special Task force that is deployed in the Kruger National Park, over and above the border patrol team. Our appreciation is due to them that today we arrested five of our employees for killing two rhinos to steal their horns”.
“It is success stories such as these that give us pride for taking a decision to go back to our borders and safeguard our border line,” Sisulu continued.
“The SANDF is fulfilling its mandate not only with distinction but with humility as well. In areas where it is deployed, soldiers helped local communities with building and renovations of their infrastructure, houses, schools and so forth.
“Our regular assessments carried out and feedback from the communities we serve and our stakeholders indicate that we have made substantial difference along the borderline since Operation Corona started.”