Mbalula address cross-border crime at Manguzi

Photo - The Citizen

MINISTER of Police, Fikile Mbalula, together with the South African Police Service National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, visited the community of Manguzi on Friday afternoon to address the ongoing issue of cross-border crime at the Mozambican/Kosi Bay Border.

This followed after the town of Manguzi was brought to a standstill last week as businesses and schools were shut down owing to protests over the growing concerns of criminal elements that plague the community.

Addressing the Minister on their concerns, the community of Manguzi, led by their leaders, called on the government to intervene in reducing motor vehicle theft and general crime in the area.

The community’s concern was centred on cross-border crime where the South African – Mozambique border is used for criminal activity.

Their demands included that government attend to the hijacking and smuggling of cars (specifically diesel 4x4s) across the Mozambican border and that the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) deal with SAPS jurisdiction issues.

ALSO READ: R140 border heroin bust

Police are of not authorised to chase criminals into Mozambique.

Having listened to the concerns, Minister Mbalula reiterated his understanding that people’s protests are not isolated from the challenges experienced by the police in fighting crime.


The Minister promised to return on 16 February with a strong response and intervention.

‘Our people are not protesting for the sake of it, they do so because the government must listen to them; they have been complaining about cross border crime for years.

‘The theft of motor vehicles in the area as reported is a serious concern that needs strong intervention from the police,’ Mbalula said

He further applauded the community for exercising their democratic right to protest and urged them to allow the children to go back to school and businesses to operate.

‘We need to seek and find these syndicates and arrest them as they are the root cause of our problem.

‘More to this, we need a multifaceted approach of government’s security cluster response to strengthen our anti-crime strategy at the border.

‘The community is already on board, further placing emphasis on community partnerships in our fight against crime.

‘Above all, we need to meet with our neighbouring countries on the border, specifically Mozambique, said Mbalula.

The issue of crime at the Mozambican border is not a new one.

In March last year President Jacob Zuma was called in to restore calm at the uMhlabuyalingana Municipality.

A memorandum of grievances was handed over to the president, who promised he would look into them and come up with solutions.

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Orrin Singh

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