Toyota Fortuner with Durban registration plate found abandoned near eSwatini border

A Toyota Fortuner with a Durban registration place was found abandoned near the eSwatini border. Photo supplied

A Toyota Fortuner with a Durban registration place was found abandoned near the eSwatini border. Photo supplied

Published Apr 13, 2023


Durban — Despite the deployment of multi-disciplinary police units and several visits by the top police brass in far northern areas of KwaZulu-Natal, cross-border crimes continue unabated.

Residents in Pongola found an abandoned Toyota Fortuner which was apparently stolen in Durban or belonged to a person living in the city. The car was found near the Eswatini border.

Bongani Mavuso, who shared the photos of the vehicle on his Facebook page, told the paper on Thursday that the vehicle with Durban registration plate ND 343238 was found by the residents abandoned 5km from Eswatini border. There was no key in the ignition.

He said it was found near a torn border fence which thieves use to smuggle stolen vehicles from South Africa to Eswatini or Mozambique. Mavuso appealed to anyone who may happen to know the owner of the car to contact him at 073 816 8419.

He said that the strip of road used by thieves is bad and it appeared that the vehicle got stuck in the uneven road and thieves abandoned it, perhaps to get a towing truck, but the community spotted it and guarded it.

The cross-border smuggling - which mainly involved car smuggling - from South Africa to Mozambique has been taking place undetected for many years. Despite several government officials - including then president Jacob Zuma as well as Police Minister Bheki Cele recently - this type of crime was still prevalent.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube announced new measures to fight cross-border crime in the province. Picture: Supplied

Meanwhile, Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube announced on Wednesday that government will go to the area again to hold a crime imbizo to discuss ways of eradicating the scourge. The premier announced the resumption of the construction of a concrete fence as one of the measures to combat this kind of crime as well as the movement of illicit goods.

She said the concrete barrier wall would be constructed between uMkhanyakude District and the Mozambique border. The premier said the construction was halted by the termination of the previous contractor but the Department of Transport had assessed the status of the project and developed a schedule for the resumption of the project.

“The interventions will include joint policing operations that allow for better crime detection and infiltration of criminal gangs in pursuit of justice. A crime-fighting Imbizo will be held in uMkhanyakude District on May 21, 2023,” said the premier.

The brazen criminality in northern KwaZulu-Natal has recently claimed the lives of two prominent crime-fighting activists, Judah Mthethwa and Sandile Tembe, who were leading the fight against cross-border crime. They were both gunned down in separate incidents. Police has not yet confirmed whether the car was reported stolen or not.

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