Cross-border crime is affecting those who live near the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Niani, an area outside Musina in Limpopo, is widely seen as criminals’ den. Goods stolen from elsewhere in the country, including livestock and illicit cigarettes, pass through the area.
Law enforcement agencies have intercepted numerous stolen vehicles since January this year.
#sapsHQ Several hijacked and stolen motor vehicles have been recovered during the operation. In the last two weeks 300 suspects were arrested for drunken driving as #SaferFestiveSeason operations intensify. #MoreBootsOnTheGround ML pic.twitter.com/ojoai78b5Y
— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) December 23, 2022
Farmers, Robert Tshibalo and Norman Phalali, have lost their animals due to unrelenting smugglers.
“We are losing cattle and goats all the time. I just lost 11 goats recently. I looked everywhere. I went as far as Musina to no avail. We are trying to work with SAPS stock theft unit to stop this. It is painful to lose our animals because we depend on them for a living this has been happening for far too long. We appeal to police to step up the fight against stock theft,” the farmers lament.
Limpopo police spokesperson Motlafela Mojapelo says that they are working with community members to crack down on cross-border criminals.
Mojapelo explains, “In terms of policing we have operational responsibility to curb cross border crime such smuggling of illicit goods, and stolen goods. We do that in conjunction with other agencies. We have been succeeding. From the 1st of July to September, we have managed to recover about 21 vehicles and we have arrested 41 people as well explosives.”