R2 million plus dagga crop won’t make it to market


The border protection tasking assigned to the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) often sees soldiers working with police to put the brakes on criminal activities inside South Africa’s land borders.

What can be termed “a bust with a difference” saw infantrymen and women from Phalaborwa-based 7 SA Infantry (SAI) Battalion based on the South Africa/Eswatini border in the Pongola area hit a farm in the Sitilo area, accompanied by police.

Their objective was a large (about 0.3 ha) dagga plantation. It was successfully “captured” with police and soldiers “rooting out” 500 kg of the drug, reports Captain BL Phutiyagae, 7 SAI Intelligence Officer. Before destroying the dagga plants, it was weighed to allow for calculation of street value. The 500 kg “harvested” was given a street sale value of R2.1 million.

Another recent inland “bust” by soldiers deployed as part of Operation Corona saw Reserve Force unit Bambatha Rifles recover a tractor/loader/backhoe stolen in Makhado at Malale village in the Madimbo area of Limpopo. The earthmover is valued at R1 million plus.