Illegals landing on east coast

2013-03-14 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Boats laden with illegal immigrants are coming ashore along South Africa’s eastern seaboard.

Dr Sam Gulube, secretary of Defence, told the parliamentary portfolio committee on defence yesterday that the illegal entry into South Africa was a huge problem.

Gulube said the people coming ashore were not pirates, but illegal immigrants. He said the preliminary information with the defence force indicated that bays and inlets especially along the Wild Coast were used by human smugglers to offload their clients.

Gulube said most of the boats were from Asia and the Horn of Africa.

He said the immigrants streaming into South Africa in this manner was a source of concern for the defence force, which is tasked with protecting the country’s borders,

The navy’s budget was cut and only one of its four frigates, the SAS Amatola, is operational. He said this ship was currently deployed in Mozambican waters on patrol against pirates, who are increasingly targeting ships further south.

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