SA, Botswana must share crime info – minister

2011-10-21 13:19

South Africa and Botswana must open channels of communication between borders to deal with cross-border crime, Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said today.

“Transnational organised crime is a menace to our two countries and society, eroding human security and the fundamental obligation for the state to provide law and order,” Sisulu said in Johannesburg.

She was speaking at the meeting of the joint permanent commission on defence and safety between the two countries.

The two countries needed to facilitate the exchange of evidence between national judicial authorities, and should implement extradition requests.

She said drug trafficking was the most common criminal act committed between borders and had serious security implications for both countries.

Organised crime was operating in a sophisticated network providing diversity, flexibility, low visibility, and longevity.

Connectivity among networks thus became a major feature of organised crime.

She told the meeting Somali pirates had extended their operations deeper into the Indian Ocean and into Southern African Development Community (SADC) maritime zones.

“Southern African waters have increasingly become an alternative to pirates who realised that there are large unprotected parts of the Indian Ocean that are extremely lucrative if exploited.”

She cited the attack on a fishing vessel in December 2010 along the Mozambican coast.

Botswana acting Minister of Defence and Justice Edwin Batshu said the meeting needed to look at implementing commitments made at the previous meeting in Botswana.

He said the two countries had agreed to established a training programme and that had not yet been implemented.

South Africa and Botswana established the joint permanent commission on defence and safety in 2000 aimed at identifying areas of co-operation and to exchange information in the fields of defence and security. 

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