In an effort to strengthen borderline security, South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members, working in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies, will be deployed to various borders.
"Effective border management is part of the government crime prevention strategy, which assists to deal with cross-border crime syndicates and curb poaching," said Justice and Constitutional Development Minister, Jeff Radebe.
Speaking at the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster media briefing on Sunday, Radebe said the SANDF deployment of forces continues in a phased approach working with other government role players, the Police, South African Revenue Service (SARS) as well as departments of Home Affairs, Tourism, Public Works, Transport, Health, State Security and Agriculture.
To date, Radebe said seven military companies have been deployed adding that four more additional companies will be deployed in April on the Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho border and this will bring the total number of deployed companies to 11.
"The deployment includes army engineers who are conducting repairs and maintenance on the Zimbabwe/Mozambique border fence (approximately 140KMs).
"As part of this deployment, operations are being conducted to combat cross-border crime, stock theft and illegal grazing, as well as rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park (KNP),"he said.
According to Radebe, 13 rhino poachers were captured through this operation.
"These deployed companies have confiscated contraband to the value of more than R16m in the financial year 2011/12. It included 7593kg of dagga and 453kg copper.
"Additionally, 522 cattle were recovered and 737 small stock. More than 14 000 undocumented foreign nationals were apprehended, 51 stolen vehicles were recovered and 36 criminals were arrested," he said.
He said the rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park has decreased since the deployment of the SANDF in that area.
However, he said the poachers have shifted their focus and are now targeting private parks as the country has so far witnessed a number of increased killings of the rhinos.
"Law enforcement agencies are collaborating in dealing with this challenge," he said.
SAnews.gov.za SAnews.gov.za is a South African government news service, published by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). SAnews.gov.za (formerly BuaNews) was established to provide quick and easy access to articles and feature stories aimed at keeping the public informed about the implementation of government mandates. Go to: http://www.sanews.gov.za
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