LUDERITZ: The Deputy Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS)’s operations office in the Northern Cape says the South African and Namibian police will put more serious strategies in place to fight human trafficking.
Speaking on the sidelines of a two-day Regional Joint Technical Committee on Defence and Security meeting between South Africa’s Northern Cape Province police and Karas Region police here on Thursday, Major General Maropeng Johanna Mamotheti said strategies will be put in place to ensure that human trafficking between the two countries is brought to an end.
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labour.
Mamotheti was responding to enquiries by Nampa on what priority crimes the committee will be tackling this year. She said her concern in particular is unemployed Namibian women who are lured to South Africa with false promises that they would be employed there.
“A lot of females from Namibia fall victim to human trafficking because they are taken to SA on promises that they will be employed, which is not always the case. We will make sure that our police and the Namibian police work together to stop this,” she said.
Other crimes that will be placed high on the list of priorities are stock theft and diamond smuggling between the two countries.
The Northern Cape police officer also stated that the police forces of the two countries will step up efforts to eradicate corruption at border posts between Namibia and South Africa, adding that the police will make sure that officials who make themselves guilty of corruption, are brought to book.
When asked about how successful the cooperation between the two police forces has been, Mamotheti indicated that there has been an increase in the apprehension of criminals involved in crimes such as drug dealing.
She went on to say that the cooperation will be continually strengthened for years to come.
Also interviewed at the meeting was the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Karas Regional Commander, Commissioner Armas Shivute, who said drug dealing is a major concern for his office this year, stating that it is being dealt with “seriously”.
He said drug dealers mostly transport drugs from South Africa into Namibia at the border posts, thus the police are tightening the security at such places to avoid drugs entering the country.
The annual meeting started Thursday and is being attended by police delegates from the Northern Cape and Karas Region, as well as officials from the two countries’ ministries of defence, immigration, environment and tourism, and fisheries.
The meeting is an annual event aimed at discussing and recommending strategies to improve security between Namibia and South Africa.