Border defence yields mixed results

2012-11-28 22:32

Pretoria - The SA National Defence Force has had mixed results since borderline deployment was initiated in 2010, chief joint operations officer Lieutenant General Derrick Mgwebi said on Wednesday.

Mgwebi was briefing the media in Pretoria on operations in which the army was involved, internally and externally.

He highlighted the defence force's successes in securing the country's borders.

"If you look at the areas we must cover, in total of land border you are looking at 4 471km... You can then understand that we will never have a force to cover [that area] in terms of men on the ground."

The security forces also had to cover 2 798km of maritime and 7 660km of air border.

Eleven companies of the South African security forces have been deployed along the country's borders with neighbouring countries since borderline deployment was initiated in 2010.

"We moved back in the 2010/2011 financial year... the following year the figures went down," Mgwebi said.

"We don't know whether that meant that at least it deterred them to cross or not."

The authorities caught 20 107 undocumented people in 2010 and had caught 13 316 so far this year - most of them from Mozambique, followed by Zimbabwe.

Mgwebi said the army did not cover the borderline between South Africa and Namibia, which stretched over 897km, or the Botswana border, which spanned over 1 561km.

"We've gone back to these borders, but government has seen it fit to take us out, but with the experience of what has been happening when we are out, we are also required to go back."

Mgwebi said that next year, two more companies would be deployed in the North West and the Northern Cape to cover these land borders.

Cases of livestock and vehicle theft had increased across South Africa's borders since 2010. Mgwebi said there had been a particular spike of cross-border theft of chickens.

He said stolen vehicles found leaving the country were mostly headed for Mozambique, and that most dagga confiscation had been on the border between the Free State and Lesotho.

In terms of external deployment, the country was currently involved in operations as part of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Troops were also deployed in the Kruger National Park to combat rhino poaching.

  • joubert.joep - 2012-11-29 02:27

    Air border - that is new...

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-11-29 05:51

      I think they think we thick. Our air defence is handled by the air force and a highly sophisticated air defence radar network.

      sphe.ndlovu.50 - 2012-11-29 07:55

      @brendon.nel.7 is the air force not part of the national defence force with Zuma as the Chief commander?

  • brendon.nel.7 - 2012-11-29 05:53

    Oooh I feel so safe knowing that the mighty sa army is defending our borders from war mongering chicken thieves. And we all know what a fantastic job they are doing at stoping rhino poachers. Go ama useless go!

  • shaun.swindon.3 - 2012-11-29 06:30

    We have borders?

      Happy Eric Sekgobela - 2012-11-29 07:13

      u cn ask dat again coz i don't think we have borders s well,if dat s da case y so many illegal foreigners in diz country

  • Willie Olivier - 2012-11-29 07:27

    If the Chinese and the russians can build a wall, so can we! Put the fat lazy police and army to good use. At least it will keep them fit!

      Ze Don - 2012-11-29 08:15

      I'd empty the prisons and make them work for their keep. A 10 hour day of heavy manual labour should keep them on the straight and narrow. Use the SANDF as guards with a shoot to kill policy for escapees...

  • ziso.maziso - 2012-11-29 08:16

    With the way the country is going, I can only promise you one thing SA, that in a few years, its the South Africans themselves that will be crossing into other countries. Watch the space!

  • DJPotifar - 2012-11-29 08:23

    Poor excuses.

  • ryan.glenn.758 - 2012-11-29 08:45

    Most can still just drive through a border post, been there done that. Had to stop and go hunting for the stamp to return back into the country. One could say it's nearly DIY border control.

  • Phakiso Moleko - 2013-07-23 11:19

    Just think, why a r u gurdin borders,eish u r really abusing solders, whre a r policmen and women?

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