Ongoing efforts of dagga smugglers to service South African users of the drug regularly encounter a stronger counter effort by soldiers deployed to ensure, among others, illegally imported dagga doesn’t reach its selling point.
This part of the Operation Corona mandate saw Mtubatuba-based 121 SA Infantry Battalion confiscate just on 20 kg of dagga, worth an estimated R60 000, in two separate busts. The KwaZulu-Natal soldiers, operating north of their home base on the South African border with Eswatini and Mozambique, recovered a stolen vehicle in a third successful encounter with smugglers, this time of vehicles.
The first dagga bust, close to Stilo temporary base on the Eswatini border, literally let soldiers to pick up the drug. The smuggler carrying what turned out to be six parcels of cannabis, dropped them and legged it when hailed by the infantry patrol.
A vehicle patrol in the vicinity of the Golela port of entry produced a similar outcome when two suspicious men, hailed by soldiers, dropped their baggage and ran away.
The stolen vehicle recovery was due more to poor driving skills than military track and trace ability
Soldiers patrolling in the Ndumo area were alerted by unnecessary revving of an engine. Investigating them came across an Isuzu bakkie stuck in sandy underfoot conditions. A woman driver, confirmed a foreigner along with her passenger, also not a South African, were apprehended and handed to police at Manguzi, where the bakkie is currently impounded.