Photo: Supplied by SAPS
Photo: Supplied by SAPS
The Nakop border runs along the Northern Cape. It separates the northern part of South Africa from Namibia and is located next to Groendoring, in the Siyanda District Municipality.
For South Africa and Namibia’s bilateral relations, Nakop is an important trade route. Trading Economics estimated that bilateral relations between the two countries yielded a R30-billion annual trade balance between 2015 and 2017.
It comes as no surprise then, that a bunch of smugglers from Namibia, with ambitions of breaking into South Africa’s thriving illicit dagga market, would take a chance at transporting kilos of it through our borders.
According to police spokesperson, Brigadier R Ramatseba, three suspects attempting to cross the Nakop border into the Siyanda District Municipality were stopped and searched by alert border officials.
On a hunch, the officials took a closer look at two suspiciously bloated tyres. Ramatseba revealed that as they removed each tyre from its rim, bags of dagga, wrapped in brown tape, fell out onto the ground.
It was established that the three suspects attempted to smuggle at least 51 bags of dagga into the country, the full weight and value of which has yet to be determined.
The suspects, whose nationality has not yet been confirmed, have been arrested and charged with drug trafficking. A court date for all three has yet to be determined for the dagga smugglers.
“The Provincial Head of Operational Response Services, Brigadier Monica Sebili applauded the vigilance and alertness of the members,” Ramatseba said.
The safety of South Africa’s borders has been a contentious political topic following the 2019 general elections. The DA has been at the forefront of calls to ‘secure the borders’.
“Citizens, go and experience the border for yourselves. It is an unconscionable indictment on the state of the ANC national government and not a matter of whether you are pan African or not.
“What I experienced at the Ramatlabama border control post on the border of Mahikeng and Botswana last week was a horror story of how ANC governance has utterly failed to secure our borders and protect the people of South Africa. It is a forgotten place where drugs can quite literally be smuggled over the border in a wheelbarrow,” DA leader, Mmusi Maimane once said in a 2018 opinion piece.
The influx of undocumented foreign nationals and counterfeit goods is a problem our customs officials are struggling to manage, with the lack of staff and resources said to be the chief reason why South Africa is losing the battle at the borders.