South Africa: 121 South African Infantry Battalion Tactical Headquarters deployed along the Republic of South Africa and Lesotho border to avert cross-border crimes have recorded significant successes over the period 15 December 2022 to 20 January 2023.
These included apprehending undocumented persons, recovering stolen livestock, vehicles, and illegal firearms and confiscating contraband and narcotics.
The deployment crossed over into the festive season, which is generally one of the prime times of criminal activities in the year. During the festive season, there was a high number of immigrants moving from the Republic of South Africa to Lesotho. In January, there was a high influx of both legal and illegal immigrants moving from Lesotho to the Republic of South Africa.
Criminal activities were also on the rise during that period of the year. In order to curb all the illegal activities, soldiers were involved in Joint Operations with the different security clusters. To mitigate the escalating crime during the festive season, Joint Operations and Independent Military Operations were intensified.
These operations yielded major successes such as the arrest of 3028 undocumented persons, 1 x 81mm mortar smoke bomb and 1 x 7.62mm round discovered, including a recovered 1 x Citi Golf.
Furthermore, two vehicles with trailers were impounded for transporting stolen livestock. Fines amounting to R 190,760,00 were issued for various offences, including Road Traffic Offence Act and transporting animals without a permit, among other offences.
Drugs (crystal meth and dagga) worth R 19,100,00 were confiscated. Illicit cartons of cigarettes estimated to be worth R 550,000,00 were also confiscated, and the truck that was transporting the cigarette was impounded. In addition, 13 x cattle, 74 sheep and 13 x goats were recovered.
The following successes worth mentioning that occurred over and from the beginning of deployment to date (15 September 2022 to 20 January 2023) include the arrest of 3,372 undocumented persons and impounding of 461 cattle, 588 sheep and 16 goats.
Some selected number of the impounded livestock had been illegally grazing in South Africa. In addition, 5 x stolen vehicles (1 x Citi Golf, 2 x Polo,1 x BMW, 1x Isuzu Double Cab) were recovered, impounded 2 x bakkies (Isuzu and Nissan NP300), 2 x trailers, 1 x truck and 2 x sedans (Toyota Verso and Toyota Corolla) for transporting illicit goods and suspected stolen livestock. Drugs worth R 781,131,00 (dagga worth R 751,275,00 and narcotics worth R29,856,00). 6 x illegal firearms and 59 rounds of different calibres were also recovered.