600 more troops deployed to borders

2012-02-19 22:19

Pretoria - The government is intensifying efforts to improve border management in an attempt to deal with cross-border crime syndicates and to curb poaching, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said on Sunday

"In that regard we will be deploying a further four military companies on the Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Lesotho borders as of April 2012 bringing the total number of companies to seven," he said. A military company consists of 150 soldiers.

"The deployment includes army engineers who are conducting repairs and maintenance on the Zimbabwe/Mozambique border fence which is approximately 140km," said Radebe.

He was speaking at a justice, crime prevention and security cluster briefing on strategic and tactical interventions developed to improve public safety, in line with President Jacob Zuma's commitment in his State of the Nation address.

Radebe also spoke about the protection of state information bill.

Once passed into law, it would promote transparency and accountability in governance at the same time ensuring that state information would be protected from disclosure to safeguard national interests, he said.

"It is important to note that [government] officials who manipulate the classification of state information to hide corrupt activities will themselves be guilty of a criminal offence and will be dealt with harshly in terms of this proposed legislation."

Radebe said that last year 192 officials in the cluster - which consists of the police, home affairs, defence, justice and correctional services department - were criminally charged with corruption and 86 of them were convicted. He said 296 were put through departmental disciplinary processes for misconduct.

Speaking at the same briefing, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said operation of the 10111 police emergency number was being reviewed.

He said the police were also focusing on increasing co-operation with police services in the Southern African Development Community region and within Interpol to fight cyber-crime.

  • Sean - 2012-02-19 22:41

    It would REALLY help if they gave the soldiers weapons AND ammo

      Kgomotso Radise - 2012-02-19 22:53

      It will cease African Diaspora, counterfeit goods, and human trafficking and reduce crime.

      Ian - 2012-02-19 23:58

      Dream on Kgomotso. It means that 600 new cases of bribery and corruption are about to take place in the near future!

      John - 2012-02-20 00:12

      @Kgomotso ma bra...again you using terms without verification of your favorite sources in internet. Do you realy know what is "African diaspora"?

      Maria - 2012-02-20 05:33

      What ?? Are you saying that the military soldiers do not have guns? What sort of a freaking army is that? Unbeleivable!

      Francois - 2012-02-20 06:57

      The one question is why it took so long, this was a problem since apartheid, but PW at least had a plan to keep the borders safe. It might have been inhumane, but at least he had a plan. The second question is how will the public know that government officials manupulated the classification of state information to hide corruption? How will Jeff know? How will we know that someone acted upon the corruption? Jeff, your party has not yet acted on the arms deal, do you really want us to believe you?

      Max - 2012-02-20 07:27

      @Sipho, we are not ready for a white president yet.

      Elle-Black - 2012-02-20 08:41

      @ Sean it would also really help if the soldiers stop taking bribes

      Jason - 2012-02-20 08:53

      Sipho you idiot, there is no Conscription and when there was it only affected young white South Africans. In fact our youth, black, white and brown would benefit hugely from a 1 year military service. Spend some time helping in disaster areas, or on the border..........would make them appreciate what they have. and give them some much needed discipline!

      SiphoMalele - 2012-02-21 01:40

      How am I supposed to run an election campaign if my comments keep getting deleted? In any case, my main ticket is no longer an end to Conscription - I want an end to the Laws of Gravity in SA! A luta continua!

  • Suspicious Mind - 2012-02-19 22:49

    The Minister of Justice getting involved in Military Issues??? hahaha!!! Typical AFRICA. Haha!! What the Hell does Border operations conducted by the Military have to do with the Minister of Justice. Hell Jeff how many more caps and posts in Government that you not experienced in are you going to fulfil? You and I have been mates for years but this is pushing the goal posts buddy. Or is that Gorgeous Sisulu Woman no longer the boss lady of the Military...LOL!

      Bluemast - 2012-02-19 23:27

      Suspicious, does it matter? Heads are rolling no matter who is making things happen even if it means stepping in and taking the reigns! Do have the to do that???

      John - 2012-02-20 00:02

      Fully agree with Suspicious Mind. That stereotype is widely held in Africa. Chain of command needs to be linked to the chain of responsibilities. If those 600 soldiers didn't compleate the task, Sisulu will walk away with "It wasn't me". In the next article Jeff Radebe will present the new amendments and changes of commercial and recreational fishing permits.

      Maria - 2012-02-20 05:27

      Why not put your energies into support an organization to support the goverment in their efforts to protect the boarders of South Africa? Negative attitudes never helped anyone. Use your posting to promote encouragement and means of finding ways to assist rather than to post personal trivial comments. :-)

      John - 2012-02-20 07:41

      Maria, Being positive has nothing to do with who orders the music and who pays for the music. Is not about negativism of initiatives which are just dust in the wind. Those 600 adtionaly deployed troops that will erect and fix the holes in national borders...ok. Something is moving in this direction. Applauses.... Now tell us why the Minister of Justice makes these statements while Lindiwe Sisulu as ex PA Jacob Zuma in 90's is bussy with arts and crafts? Do we have Defence Minister or not?

  • mary.kircher - 2012-02-19 23:07

    this should have happened years ago, but without weapons what use are they going to be ?

      HenriLeRiche - 2012-02-20 01:54

      what do you mean "without weapons"? when soldiers patrol they do it with their weapons. A soldier without aweapon is not a soldier its a pick and pay security guard.

      Maria - 2012-02-20 05:40

      I agree with you. What good is a nation without an real army to protect itself. What good are borders without restrictions and controled entry points. I can't beleive these soldiers have no weapons! It's insane! as insane as Stalin sending his foot soldiers to war, one had the gun and the other had the bullets. Shame on the Generals of SA Army to even allow this! Ugh !!

      John - 2012-02-20 08:02

      Well.... To all of you that haven't seen the documentary on "Carte blanche", how SA soldiers (with weapons)in Botswana border were helping Big Mamma to climb the fence. I wish if Carte Blanche can reply this edition in order to refresh your memories. Henri LeRiche is experienced P'n'P customer and Maria definetly have seen the movie "Enemy at the Gates". Maria, Just in short notice that 'their' flag was waving in the Reichstag in 1944, while 'todays' RSA army cannot even protect borders.

  • Bluemast - 2012-02-19 23:26

    Now this is what I am talking about! I just hope that this is taken seriously and that more defence members could be deployed on the Mozambique border, that is where most of the poachers on foot move to and fro due to lack of proper and adequate security along this vast stretch of border. I am very excited about this announcement indeed! Thank you for caring, now hopefully we can see a rapid decline in the poaching even right down to zero! Just one request - fight fire with fire! Oh, and another thing, please provide these members with top of the range night-vision goggles and try and out do the poachers with the equipment they have been using to get away with their heinous crimes! Great job! :-)

  • Gerhart - 2012-02-19 23:44

    Closing the stable door again after the horse has bolted? This seems to be the standard modus operandi of this government. Whether it is the abolition of a perfectly good apprentice scheme in exchange for a corrupt and ineffectual SETA, or the introduction of a now defunct OBE- Outcome based Education system, we never like listening to reason why issues should be more carefully considered or debated in an informed forum,with less political correctness and more realpolitic. The same is now happening with the issue of border control. Instead of keeping the border fences and patrols intact, we allowed the fences to deteriorate and welcomed our brothers from the neighboring countries accross the borders without adequate controls and identity processing. The big wake up call came with the xenophobic violence some years back and the final realisation that looking after the rest of Africa will come at a heavy price in the domestic arena. Now we are doing the usual U-turn after finally accepting that we can not sustain millions of illegal immigrants in addition to our own 14 million government grant recipients. What this country needs is some more unemployed polititians, maybe this will help to put the country back on a path of pragmatism and thus real progress again.

      Maria - 2012-02-20 06:02

      Brilliant! Is there any one or organization taking the matter up with the Army General or who ever is in charge of SA security pertaining to the matter of soldiers without guns? It sounds pathetic .. like a fireman without his hose and tools? I simply don't get .. blows my one cell female brain!

      John - 2012-02-20 08:22

      fireman without water.....

  • Brent - 2012-02-20 00:27

    The horse has bolted long time ago, how many million illegals are there in SA, A bit late to fix the fence that was working years ago, now most of it is at the scrap dealers,,,,,,,,,,,,,eish!!!!

      Maria - 2012-02-20 05:48

      Truth and humour in what you say .... still never too late to shut the stable door for the next horse. :-)

  • HenriLeRiche - 2012-02-20 00:57

    The ANC just reinventing the wheel. All they had to do was take over from the SADF and keep patrolling the borders. No. They had to do it their way by calling all the soldiers away from the borders and in all essence opening it up to the whole of Africa. 18 years later with crime out of hand, xenophobia and farm attacks uncontroleable they came to the conclusion why there were troops in the first place! Typical re-inventing the wheel.

      Maria - 2012-02-20 05:52

      You got that right Henri, but lets give support now for the fixing of the borders. After all, a baby has to crawl before it can run. Besides, we are not all born with intelligence, it's developed over time, but for some, never unfortunately.

  • Maria - 2012-02-20 05:02

    On my last visit to South Africa, I noticed a definate improvement regarding Police Service. SA is a beautiful country. It has so much going for it,but all will be lost if government does not do their part. No country is without it's own problems but if the government is corrupt all hope for citizens is lost. I beleive there are enough good officials in goverment who work hard to protect the interest of the country and citizen, but they can only do so much. Citizen themselves can assit by means of peaceful ralleys, marches and demonstrations. Sitting back, doing nothing, yet complaining is nothing more than standing in bucket and trying to lift yourself by the handle! Think about it!

  • Maria - 2012-02-20 05:08

    Government could instantly create imployment if they built a proper army and used such to protect SA borders and it's citizens. I suggest it best be done before matters get as bad as they are in Mexico. Horrible place! 2500 cops killed there. Things are so bad, drug cartels dump garbage bags of victiums along high ways in broad day light! Wake up South Africa!

  • Dennis - 2012-02-20 05:12

    Replace the fricking electric fence you removed !!

      Bernadette Amir - 2012-02-20 07:36

      Awe I agree

      John - 2012-02-20 08:20

      Ja swaar

  • Maria - 2012-02-20 05:23

    Take a look at this: If Dante had ever been to Juarez he would have placed it squarely in the seventh circle of hell, the one housing "violence" and "ringed by a river of boiling blood." The city, which lies on the Rio Grande just across from El Paso, Texas, is the murder capital of the world, claiming more than 5,500 killings since January 2008. It is responsible for one-fifth of the more than 25,000 drug-related murders that have occurred in Mexico since 2006 when President Felipe Calderon officially declared war on the country’s heavily armed drug cartels. In this special report, “The Seven Circles of Juarez: The murder capital of the world and those who dwell in its unique hell,” GlobalPost features a series of videos and dispatches that explore the concentric rings of greed, lust, avarice and complicity that have made the town its own, living inferno. Is Ciudad Juarez really the most murderous city in the world? Most sources, including the FBI and various non-governmental organizations, find that it is. In 2009, Juarez had 191 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants, according to Mexico’s Citizen Council for Public Security. Don't think it can't happen in SA!

      betsy.compaan - 2012-02-20 09:59

      The problem is the Government doesn't care if it happens. You need to understand that the people on the streets of South Africa is nothing more than a vote too our "elite". Our Government is part of our problem and have stolen Billions from the people of South Africa, the only time they pretend to do anything is just before an election to gain support.

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-20 06:30

    17 years and a whole lot of drug smuggling, human trafficking, illegal immigrants and poaching too late, but at least a move in the right direction.

      Bluemast - 2012-02-20 06:54

      I am going to try and be optimistic about the move. There was a fence once upon a time, but once upon a time job creation was to neglect it or break it down for scrap metal as mentioned above! The army guys are trained to operate in the bush, even at night, unlike the park rangers who have a good night's rest knowingly that there are rhinos being killed while they are sleeping!

      Bernadette Amir - 2012-02-20 07:33

      At least

  • luyolo.makalima - 2012-02-20 06:48

    i don't mean to be pessimistic ,but its not gonna work ...put zuma in jail and his friends ...root out corruption ...then go for boarder Protection ...

  • Compos - 2012-02-20 07:54

    Read the article people. He is not saying they will be deployed without weapons. It is short-sighted_Sean that is making that statement. He is speaking on behalf of a government cluster, as the chair of the cluster. Jeez, try and understand the clusters before making stupid comments.

  • dawiej - 2012-02-20 08:12

    600 more people to demand bribes, then drive them into the country , and have them vote for the ANC. ANC is thinking progressively

  • Marc - 2012-02-20 08:20

    600 more troops won't help, not with the length of our borders, the determination of the enemy (poachers) and the fact that of the 600, at any one time, 80 are on off-days, 50 on leave, 25 sick, and the remaining number have to be divided into 3 shifts. Kind of pointless. Division strength might help, but strong would not be the operative word.

  • betsy.compaan - 2012-02-20 09:30

    It's amazing how the only time anything gets done in South Africa is just before the elections...

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