Michele du Plessis
In many editions, GPS News reported about the myriad illegal activities flourishing in and around Sabie. Timber theft and the diverse problems associated with it, the increase in the establishment of timber depots where the illegally harvested timber was prepared and sold, illegal gold mining, illegal electrical connections, poaching, illegal occupation of municipal and private property, to name just a few.
Millions of Rands are lost every year through illegal harvesting of timber in state-owned and private plantations, fires caused by these unlawful activities, illegal electrical connections and so forth…
All these illegal activities led to the Combined Multidisciplinary Exercise on Wednesday, September 2nd that concentrated on illegal mining, harvesting of timber and electrical connections. More than 70 people and 30 vehicles gathered at the Bambanani Sportsgrounds to be briefed by Captain Motau, assisted by WO Jackie van Rensburg of the SAPS Sabie.
Present on the day were Home Affair (Immigration), SAPS K9 Lydenburg, Phoenix Security (York Timbers), Mvula Security (Sappi), Mountain to Ocean Timber Company, Dan Rock Security (MTO), Phepha Security (Komatiland), Protract Security (MTO), TCLM Electrical and Revenue Manager, acting as Director Community Services, Mike Mashilo. It is worthy to note that Mike Mashilo leads by example as he participated wholeheartedly in the exercise. “He is not afraid to get his hands dirty and a worthy and intelligent leader. He deserves respect,” one of the role players said. The Timber Forum was represented by Pieter Knipschild, chairman.
Successes of the day include, but is not limited to, the following:
- The arrest of 17 undocumented foreigners
- One arrest – person employing undocumented foreigners
- The arrest of 1 male – Warrant of arrest
- 3 Bakkie loads full of cables that was destroyed at the municipal offices in Lydenburg
- The recognisance of 7 depots where the illegally harvested timber is prepared and sold
GPS News is happy to report that this exercise to clamp down on the illegal activities was not a once-off. “The strike at illegal activities will continue regularly to help stop these criminal activities and lawlessness. We, the people of Sabie and all the multidisciplinary role players are fed-up. Enough is enough.”
All photos courtesy of Matthew du Plessis, GPS News