25 June 2012
South Africa will continue to improve security at its borders as it steps up the fight against cross-border crime, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe told journalists in Pretoria on Monday.
Since the first deployment of South African National Defence Force (SANDF) troops along the country’s borders in April 2010, a total of 11 SANDF companies had been stationed on SA’s borders with Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique and Lesotho, Radebe said.
A further four companies would be deployed along South Africa’s borders with Botswana and Namibia in 2013/14.
“Effective border management is part of the government’s crime prevention strategy, which deals with cross-border crimes and poaching,” Radebe said, noting that the SANDF worked closely on this with the South African Police Service as well as various government departments.
As part of the SANDF deployment, operations were being conducted to combat cross-border crime, stock theft and illegal grazing and rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park.
Radebe said the troop deployment had, in the last three months alone, led to the confiscation of contraband, including cigarettes and liquor, to the value of R3.1-million.
In addition, 763kg of dagga and 315kg of copper had been confiscated, and 23 stolen vehicles and nine weapons recovered.
“A total of 5 210 undocumented persons were apprehended and 212 criminals arrested,” Radebe said.