President Jacob Zuma paid a surprise visit to the Manguzi police station, northern KwaZulu-Natal, yesterday.

His visit was part of government’s campaign to intensify the fight against cross-border crime in Umkhanyakude, Hlabisa, and Jozini municipalities. He spoke to residents living near the border and went to inspect the border post allegedly used during the commission of the crimes.

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Residents had for the past years complained about crimes in their area, allegedly committed by migrants from neighbouring Mozambique. ANCYL Far North Region chairperson Sandile Sibiya told News24 they wanted government to build a “huge wall” along the Mozambican border to prevent criminals from stealing their cars.

S.A MOZA BORDER

“The criminals just cut through the wire fence separating the two countries and get away. So now we want a huge wall to be erected here to prevent any further cross border crime and we want government to deploy more soldiers,” he said.

Residents who owned 4x4s and stock were the main targets of hijackings and robberies. “What’s worrying most is that those criminals don’t even change number plates on the hijacked cars once they get them to Mozambique. Our local police can’t do anything once the cars have been taken across the border,” he said.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu, who was part of the government’s delegation with Zuma, announced that R48m has been set aside to fight cross-border crime. “Rural communities are under a huge yoke of poverty and have to bear the burden of stock theft and car hijackings,” Mchunu said.

The visit formed part of government’s campaign against crime which is causing heightened tensions between residents and migrants from Mozambique and Swaziland, the Presidency said in a statement. –