In response to the scourge of cross-border crimes in South Africa, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation in collaboration with Crime Intelligence, National Intervention Unit and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) arrested six (6) soldiers aged between 30 and 51 on Monday 21 June 2021 for the alleged corruption.
The suspects were deployed at Beitbridge Border Post to defend and protect the territorial integrity of the Republic of South Africa between 2017 and 2019. Instead of carrying out their constitutional mandate of ensuring national security at the borders, they allegedly connived with vehicle smuggling syndicates to smuggle stolen vehicles through the Limpopo River in exchange for money.
It is further alleged that the suspects would demand R15 000 per vehicle that would be shared among themselves, which also endangers the majority of their honest colleagues. A project driven investigation dubbed “Night Vigil” was instituted to probe deeper into the matter.
The suspects whose military ranks range between Lance-Coporal and Private were on the radar of the police until they were arrested by the team in North West, Northern Cape and Free State provinces.
All the arrested suspects are expected to make their first court appearance in the Musina Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 23 June 2021.
The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya hailed the collaborative efforts by the integrated team to vigorously fight and root out corruption in the public and private sectors. “We certainly hope that our joint team efforts will inspire confidence in the entire civil servant and the South African community at large. Those who are entrusted with responsibility to protect and serve must never be tempted by dirty money from organised criminal groups, otherwise the lessons will be learnt the hard way”, said Lieutenant General Lebeya.