More vehicles needed at Maseru border


Portfolio Committee on Police chairperson, Francois Beukman, addressed committee members and the media at the Maseru border bridge as part of its assessment of the police service throughout the country. The Portfolio Committee will be in the Free State until the weekend. Various sections of the SAPS in the region have already been visited, including the stock theft unit.
During the visit it was revealed that at least five vehicles are required by the police to carry out their duties. Beukman and his team arrived at the border post just before 10:00 on Tuesday to assess the state of affairs at the border post. Various police sectors in the province, as well as head office in Pretoria, attended the committee's visit in order to plot the way forward in dealing with any eventuality. Beukman asked Free State police to beef up security in a bid to curb drugs from moving through the border post.
Specialised police units were needed at the Maseru border post if the South African Police Services were to be successful in doing their job. This is the word from Colonel John Ntshumayelo of the police, briefing the committee at the border post. This came after members of the committee wanted to know what measures were in place to root out corruption among its members, as it came to light that it was a problem at some of the country's ports of entry. During the committee's visit, the Beit Bridge border post was mentioned as one of the ports where corruption among the employed was rife. Ntshumayelo said collaboration between them and the SANDF was needed to help in combating corruption and any other eventuality.
During a visit to the Maseru border post where no truck scanner, no dog unit and two defective drug detection units were proof of how bad the situation is, member of the committee, Dianne Kholer-Barnard, described the situation as catastrophic. As a member of the portfolio committee on police, Kholer-Barnard said this situation should be rectified as soon as possible, pointing to Free State police commissioner, Simon Mpembe. She said a dog unit is at least what was needed as immediate solution as there was no indication of what kind of drugs were moving across the border, let alone children being smuggled across the border in the back of trucks. An irate Kholer-Barnard also mentioned the fact that in the two hours spent at the border post, she could not hear a single plane or helicopter patrolling the airspace, leaving the border between South Africa and Lesotho vulnerable. The portfolio committee's visit to the Free State, assessing their state of affairs, will conclude in Bloemfontein over the weekend. – Owen Kock