The growing trend of cross-border organised crime has devastating consequences for the individuals who are targeted by gangs who are usually known to community members. Although victims report the culprits to the police, the lack of support from the authorities raises serious questions.
Special Assignment exposes a crime wave sweeping the rural community in the town of Manguzi in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The town, which is close to the Mozambican border, is the target of gangs of armed youths who rob the inhabitants of their belongings and cars.
Hijacked vehicles are smuggled across the border into Mozambique where they are used to commit crimes. Despite claims from the community that they know the culprits and report them to the police, little is done to assist victims of crime.
Authorities allege that Maputo has become a hotbed of drug trafficking and money laundering, involving a powerful clique of Asian businessmen. The team questions Mozambican police about organised crime that can destabilise the region, compromise citizens’ safety and security.
The programme, Gangland, which is produced by Frank Ferro, features Danny Govender who was hijacked and abducted in December 2012 with his domestic worker, Promise Dlamini. The hijackers drove around with them in the car for hours before dropping them off in the thick bush near the Mozambican border. Danny is still severely traumatised and is experiencing health complications due to the crime.
The team also exposes other criminal activities along the border where gangs have torn down the fence, smuggling hijacked vehicles into Mozambique. These crimes occur despite the South African Defence Force doing regular patrols along the border.
The team confronts the police on the rising crime in the area and tries to establish why nothing has been done to address it.
Gangland airs on Thursday, 17 January on SABC 3 at 21h00.