Berg Alert 2019

10 Jan 2019 17:32 #74508 by GetaPix
Replied by GetaPix on topic Berg Alert 2019
Further details to the Incident as follow

It happened at around 17H30. After which I wanted to push on but given the status of some of my group they were really not up to it for many being their first hike and having had a tough day up the pass. I remember constantly checking on them as their silhouettes were etched on the horizon turning dark whilst we finally decided to pitch tents reluctantly. It happened here
S28° 56.051' E29° 04.859' - Well within SA border line

I believe part of the reason why we assumed them to be in some sort of "official" capacity was their very good English. Not fluent but certainly way better than the best speaking Basutho I ever came across. Their approach, attitude was confident dominating but not overly aggressive. I suppose you don't need more than a R1 for this to have this attitude.

Geoff. Certainly looks like the very same guys that confronted us and the clothing fits the description as well. Where they would be sleeping was also my question as they did not fit the profile of the normal Basutho roughing it out in the wilderness, both in physic (way to well fed and even a degree of chubbiness) as well as the necessary kit to have a night out in the open

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10 Jan 2019 18:02 #74509 by diverian
Replied by diverian on topic Berg Alert 2019
An armed member of  neighboring countries deference force coming across the border and threatening that countries citizens constitutes a serious incident, and should be taken up at diplomatic and ministerial level.. 

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10 Jan 2019 18:40 - 10 Jan 2019 18:40 #74511 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Berg Alert 2019
Thanks Getapix.  That was the obvious place from your description.
As can be seen from the screengrab, there are dwellings within 2km straight line from the top of the pass.  Perhaps that is where they were heading.  Might have been the same guys, but an R4 and R1 are two different rifles.  

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Last edit: 10 Jan 2019 18:40 by Serious tribe.

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10 Jan 2019 20:55 - 10 Jan 2019 21:17 #74514 by GetaPix
Replied by GetaPix on topic Berg Alert 2019

Serious tribe wrote: Thanks Getapix.  That was the obvious place from your description.
As can be seen from the screengrab, there are dwellings within 2km straight line from the top of the pass.  Perhaps that is where they were heading.  Might have been the same guys, but an R4 and R1 are two different rifles.  


My apologies. I rather speak of these kind of fire arms in very generic terms. Im not familiar with firearms - when it comes to R4 and R1 yet I do know it was one of the two most likely the R4. The kids in the group said it was AK47..But I could at least tell that it certainly was not...lol.

The likelihood of this being different men in my view is highly unlikely. The most out of ordinary meeting with the weirdest of characters in my 35 years of hiking in the berg within a span of couple of weeks in the same area is just to much of an coincidence.
Last edit: 10 Jan 2019 21:17 by GetaPix.
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11 Jan 2019 08:31 #74515 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Berg Alert 2019
No stress.  The R4 does have a closer resemblance to an AK47, which is perhaps why your kids assumed as such.  I only know this because of a very past interest in such things.

My comment for correct id was based on the hope that there weren't two lots of soldiers in that area.  Like you, I also thought it highly unlikely but would say this confirms it was the same two guys. 

I also found it of interest the different way the two hiking groups were treated.  Perhaps as Geoff said, the guy looked as high as a kite and was not in the right state of mind.  It seems that the LDF is now actively looking at its borders, which was not the case decades ago, 

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11 Jan 2019 13:49 #74516 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Berg Alert 2019
Found this on one of my instagram feeds.

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11 Jan 2019 14:51 #74519 by GetaPix
Replied by GetaPix on topic Berg Alert 2019
Perhaps this will also help to bring to light further possible incidents as well as freedom and awareness to report this when it does happen. Thanks for notice Karl

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11 Jan 2019 19:51 #74522 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Berg Alert 2019
The two incidents around Ntonjelana Pass appear to have taken place within the bounds of the Mlambonja Wilderness Area. I did already report this to Elesta Hadebe (CM at Cathedral Peak) and Stephen Richert with whom I have spoken previously about the similar trend around the Chain Ladders. I am also awaiting clarification around how to report this through the incident report system I mentioned earlier. In my opinion this kind of incident should be reported to the police, so you could try call the Bergville Police Station to log an incident.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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14 Jan 2019 08:16 #74532 by GriffBaker
Replied by GriffBaker on topic Berg Alert 2019
I phoned Upper Tugela Police station (The station at Mnweni) last week out of personal interest. 

I may have not communicated what I was asking correctly or not spoken to the correct person but neither of the two officers I spoke to had heard of Ntonjelana pass or of any incidents and they said that they did not patrol the mountains, this was for SANDF.
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15 Jan 2019 09:10 #74541 by Herman
Replied by Herman on topic Berg Alert 2019
I've spoken to a South African diplomat about the LDF incidents. He said that if we can give him a formal report, possibly through an official body such as the MCSA (or maybe through KZN Wildlife, @Ranger?), he will ensure that it reaches the right people on the Lesotho side.

Would those who have knowledge of such incidents please PM me? I'm happy to get the ball rolling, but if @Ranger and/or @Intrepid can be involved that would be best.
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