SOUTH African police have arrested a 41-year-old Bulawayo woman for allegedly smuggling a consignment of 80 detonators into that country through the Beitbridge Border Post.
Limpopo police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said at the weekend that Sibonginkosi Mhlakanipiswa was arrested by police officers on patrol at around 2PM on Thursday.
He said Mhlakanipiswa is facing charges of unauthorised importation, supply and or possession of an explosive.
Brig Mulaudzi said the Mhlakanipiswa was taken to Musina magistrate court on Friday where she was remanded in custody to July 18 for trial.
“The suspect who was travelling on foot was spotted by one of the alert police officers at the border post while carrying a suspicious white plastic bag. She was then stopped and taken to the community service centre within the border post where a search was conducted leading to the discovery of 40 detonators, which were wrapped in a red dress,” he said.
The police chief said further body searches led to the discovery of 40 more detonators which were wrapped around her body. Brig Mulaudzi said the suspect was subsequently arrested.
“We are worried about the recurrence of such cases where people try to smuggle these explosives into the republic. We suspect these are used for illegal mining activities and ATM bombings,” he said.
Brig Mulaudzi said police had intensified patrols and searches on travellers in light of an increase in cases of smuggling.
The incident comes a few months after a 23-year-old Zimbabwean woman Elita Sibanda was jailed for eight years by a Musina magistrate after she was found with 26 plastic cartridges and 100 detonators.