Kruger soldiers hold visitors at gunpoint
Erika Gibson, Beeld
Mbombela - Two Kruger National Park visitors were apprehended and held at gunpoint for hours after they lost their way and drove into a temporary camp made by soldiers of 1 SA Infantry Battalion from Bloemfontein.
Witbank couple Lampies and Jacolien Lamprecht left Satara camp in the park early on Saturday.
They turned onto a track which had no signs or obstructions to block it.
When Lamprecht saw the camp, he stopped to turn around.
He showed his ID book and permit to drive in the park and answered questions before driving off, only to be forced off the road by a military vehicle.
Soldiers told them they were being held until their commander could speak to them.
“He [the officer] said we are under arrest and that we had to obey him as he was the ‘law’ in the game reserve.”
Lamprecht said he heard over the radio how the officer said in Tswana that he had taken a wrong turn and was some 20km away.
The unit commander wanted to confiscate his ID book, but Lamprecht refused.
“I allowed them to copy my details and search my car,” said an angry Lamprecht.
Soldiers are posted in the Kruger National Park to assist park authorities in the fight against rhino poaching.
Defence force spokesperson Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said the incident was being taken seriously and is being investigated.
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