The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has in the last couple of weeks recorded numerous successes as part of border protection and coronavirus prevention deployments, including the seizure of drugs and recovery of stolen vehicles.
In an operation conducted in KwaZulu-Natal’s international borders with Mozambique on 16 August, SANDF members came into contact with a stolen vehicle as thieves were attempting to smuggle it into Mozambique. The incident took place near Lovershill. The vehicle was handed over to Maguzi SA Police Service.
The SANDF said two suspects were arrested for possession of dagga between 17 and 20 August when the SANDF, SA Police Service, Empangeni Vispol and Crime Intelligence held a roadblock on N2 at Canefields and Empangeni policing area.
On 20 August the SANDF said its members were conducting patrols at Magogeni Village in Mpumalanga when they found 17 balls of dagga weighing 10.015 kg with the street value of R30 045. The dagga was handed over to Mbuzini SA Police Service.
The same day the SANDF said soldiers were manning standing patrols at a railway line at Komatipoort in Mpumalanga and they apprehended 73 undocumented persons crossing the border from Mozambique to South Africa illegally. The persons were handed over to Komatipoort SA Police Service.
During a roadblock in Collins Chabane Municipality on 22 August, the SANDF said it stopped 816 vehicles, searched 305 people and issued 15 summons to the value of R3 600 and eleven warrants of arrest to the value of R5 950. Two people were arrested for the possession of dagga while two people were arrested for violating COVID-19 regulations.
The SANDF on 23 August said soldiers were busy conducting border patrols when they arrested the driver of a vehicle for illegally trying to transport groceries worth R76 889 across the border into Zimbabwe. The driver and vehicle were both handed over to Customs SARS Beitbridge.
In the latest incident, the South African Police Serivce said that on 25 August, the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District COVID-19 Team consisting of police officers, SANDF members and provincial traffic officers arrested a male suspect, aged 34, for dealing in drugs (dagga). The suspect was arrested at about 11:00 at a roadblock held on the R30 road between Klerksdorp and Orkney at the Uraniaville turn-off. Members were doing routine stop and searches when a white Toyota Camry with Lesotho registration number plates was pulled over. Upon searching the vehicle, bags of dagga with an estimated street value of R2.2 million were found in the boot, the back seat and the spare wheel compartment. The suspect was immediately arrested and the vehicle confiscated.
The Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, lauded all members involved for their efforts. He said that drug peddling, especially dagga is becoming a real challenge in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District and that the police will not hesitate to ensure that perpetrators are brought to book.