Ongoing and often hazardous foot and mounted patrols along with stop and searches as well as observation posts paid off for two SA Army units currently deployed on the border protection tasking Operation Corona.
Soldiers from Upington-based 8 SA Infantry (SAI) Battalion are presently on the Lesotho/South Africa border – a major crossing point for stolen livestock in southern Africa. This reputation was reinforced when intelligence on stolen South African cattle reached the Maluti operational base in Eastern Cape.
A section led by Corporal Mmaphala Semenya was dispatched in co-operation with Buffalo Protection Services. Twenty-two stolen cattle with an estimated value of R176 000 were found in the vicinity of Belfort Dam. The stock thieves ran away before the soldiers and private security personnel arrived.
A few hundred kilometres north on the South Africa/Zimbabwe border, 10 Anti-Air Regiment, a long way from its Kimberley headquarters, notched up an illegal goods confiscation along with recovering two luxury vehicles intended for illegal export as well as ensuring illicit cigarettes worth R262 000 will not reach South African smokers and apprehending a Zimbabwean police officer carrying dagga along with his warrant card.
Earlier in the month, SANDF members from King Shaka Regiment deployed along South Africa and Lesotho borderline were conducting vehicle patrols around Drakensberg Hotel on 16 May when they spotted a suspicious white Corolla. After stopping and searching the vehicle, they found 24 plastic bags full of dagga and R1 000 cash. The dagga weighed 150 kg with an estimated street value of R6 268 333. The suspects were both arrested and the confiscated dagga was handed to the Himville Police Station.