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SA's borders a logistical chaos

By Chester Makana | Nov 20, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

LIMPOPO police have described working on the country's borders as logistical chaos, with the smuggling of goods rife because of a lack of facilities.

They told Premier Cassel Mathale yesterday in Polokwane that the Beitbridge post between South Africa and Zimbabwe, and the Grobler's Bridge on the border with Botswana, were under threat from goods smugglers because there were no scanners.

About 200 police officers and traffic cops shared their frustrations with Mathale, safety, security and liaison MEC Dikeledi Magadze and road and transport MEC Pinkie Kekana.

The meeting started with police and traffic cops blaming each other for corruption and for accepting bribes, which they said contributed to road fatalities in the province.

The traffic officers accused the police of tampering with blood samples taken from drunken drivers, while the police accused traffic officers of accepting bribes and selling driver's licences.

Officials said the worst criminal activities were taking place at the border posts, where smugglers and freight companies forced their way in and out of the country.

Mathale also heard that traffic officers at one of the weighing bridges pocketed up to R20000 a day by allowing overloaded trucks to go through.

Director Joseph Makushu of SAPS said they did not even have cargo scanners to check heavy load materials at Beitbridge.

Police and traffic officers also told Mathale that luggage went missing from trucks delivering goods to and from of the province.

Mathale said the government was ready to root out corruption by capacitating the police in the province.


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