Soldiers from 1 Special Service Battalion (SSB) are temporarily dependent on assault rifles rather than their usual wheeled armour but this has not deterred them from Operation Corona duties.
The Bloemfontein-based soldiers are currently doing a stint on the South Africa/Zimbabwe border and a recent successful mission saw them recover more than R750 000 worth of illicit goods and a utility vehicle.
The soldiers, on foot rather than in Ratel or Rooikat armoured vehicles, observed a Ford bakkie in the Sandquest/Vula-Vala area and suspicions were raised when it stopped and the driver ran.
The soldiers knew all was not well and approached the stationary vehicle with caution only to find it empty of people but loaded with cigarettes. A thorough search and tally showed the haul of illegal tobacco product to be worth an estimated R750 000.
The vehicle, valued at R265 000, and its illegal load are now with police and customs officials with the patrolling soldiers on the receiving end of commendations for a job well done from Officer Commanding Joint Tactical Headquarters Limpopo, Lieutenant Colonel KS Ramukhithi.