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AfriForum says DHA didn’t properly deploy border guards

AfriForum, reportedly sent a letter to Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi requesting clarification on the procedure followed when Border Management Authority-managed border guards were deployed (BMA).

According to IOL, Jacques Broodryk, AfriForum’s spokesperson on community safety, the legislation pertaining to the Border Management Act that would authorise the Department of Home Affairs and the BMA to deploy guards had not yet been published.

“Despite the fact that this legislation is not yet in effect, BMA guards have been deployed to various border regions, have been actively stopping and searching vehicles, and have been issued firearms,” Broodryk explained.

“If our conclusion is correct and these guards were deployed before the required legislation was published, then the government has illegally deployed a rogue vigilante unit to our border areas.

This would imply that these guards have fewer arresting powers than a typical citizen acting in his or her private capacity.

AfriForum also expressed concern regarding the “rushed training these guards have received” and the manner in which they were recruited.

It is unknown whether the members of the BMA guards left the service in good standing when they left the police and military. Broodryk stated that this creates the impression that the Department of Home Affairs took shortcuts in deploying the guards in order to give the appearance that they are addressing the country’s serious border security challenges.

In June, Motsoaledi stated that the Border Management Authority’s guards were responsible for securing the borders, while the SANDF continued to protect the country’s 4,773-kilometre borderline, including the coastline.

Motsoaledi made these remarks in response to parliamentary questions from DA MP Adrian Roos, who inquired about the distinction between the responsibilities of the Border Management Authority (BMA) and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

The remarks were made after the SANDF declared it illegal for any civil organisation or NGO, including businesses, to conduct patrols at any of the country’s borders, following online reports that AfriForum had assumed responsibility for border patrols.

In his response, Motsoaledi stated that the border patrol guards’ responsibilities included performing general border management activities and security services to ensure effective

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