DURBAN - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) 121 South African Infantry Battalion has been keeping the Pongola police station busy as they continuously intercept illegal border crossing of undocumented persons, stock theft and dagga smuggling.
Operational communication officer of the battalion Captain Letlhogonolo Mashego said the 121 South African Infantry Battalion has yielded more results following visibility and activities of the SANDF members on the borderline between South Africa and eSwatini.
Mashego said the soldiers deterred cross-border crimes such as the illegal crossing of undocumented persons, stock theft and dagga smuggling.
“Members of the 121 South African Infantry Battalion have apprehended undocumented persons and confiscated goods worth an estimated street value of R262 370,” Mashego said.
He said while conducting observation posts in Mshololo, military personnel saw a group of people approaching from eSwatini and crossing into South Africa. Military personnel approached and stopped those crossing the border and apprehended six undocumented people.
“The military police were called to the scene, and they took the undocumented persons to Pongola police station,” Mashego said.
He said during foot patrols near the Mboloba Temporary Base, military personnel on patrol found an abandoned plastic bag. Inside the bag, they found dagga wrapped in brown tape, weighing just under 1kg with a street estimated value of R2 640.
Mashego said on the side of the Mzintshango Temporary Base, during foot patrols along the borderline, military personnel on patrol found four abandoned parcels of dagga, weighing 8.25kg with a street estimated value of R24 750. The dagga was taken to Pongola police station.
“In an isolated incident near the Mzintsangu Temporary Base, members on patrol spotted a group of people approaching from the Swaziland border and crossing into South Africa. Members on foot patrol approached and stopped those crossing members and found sixteen undocumented personnel consisting of five females and 11 males. The military police handed the undocumented persons to Pongola police station,” Mashego said.
He said in another dagga-related incident, while on patrol near the Mboloba Temporary Base, an abandoned black bag and two blue plastics with black stripes were found. Inside the bag, soldiers found two parcels of dagga wrapped with brown tape and plastics full of dagga weighing 5.66kg at a street estimated value of R16 980. The dagga was taken to Pongola police station by military police.
Mashego said while soldiers were patrolling near Mboloba along the eSwatini border, they saw an African man herding goats towards South Africa and the goats were loaded into a Toyota Hilux single cab.
“Members stopped the vehicle and found two passengers with seventeen goats in the back of the bakkie, which were identified as suspected stock theft. The bakkie was impounded at the Pongola police station.”
“The bakkie was estimated to be R190 000 and goats valued at R 28 000 military police were called and took the bakkie with apprehended personnel to Pongola police station,” Mashego said.
Police had not commented by the time of publication.
To comment on this story send a WhatsApp message to our BackChat column on 071 485 7995