The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the North West Province has revealed that a Zimbabwean truck driver who allegedly snuck into the country with illicit cigarettes did so when the border crossing was offline due to load shedding.
His cargo was worth about R12 million and the driver was in South Africa illegally.
Joseph Kusekwa, 43, was arrested on Friday last week and was expected to appear in the Lehurutshe Magistrate’s Court for a bail application on Thursday.
Provincial NPA spokesperson Henry Mamothame said Kusekwa was a Zimbabwean national with no legal documentation to be in the country.
He had allegedly snuck into South Africa during load shedding at the border gate, which had caused computers to be offline.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Amanda Funani said Kusekwa had entered South Africa from Botswana on Friday via the Skilpadshek border on the N4 Trans-Kalahari Corridor.
She said a police officer saw the truck leaving the border and driving towards Zeerust.
He informed his commander and the truck was stopped shortly after entering South Africa, where after the driver was ordered to drive back to Skilpadshek.
Customs officials inspected the truck and found boxes of contraband cigarettes valued at more than R12 million.
The police official who allowed the truck to leave the border is under investigation, said Funani.