In the Ficksburg area of the Eastern Free State the shallow, silted Caledon River forms the international border between South Africa and Lesotho.
The original border fence was stripped and stolen long ago. Here a Sotho national calmly drives his cattle across the Caledon River, a section of the border hardly ever patrolled by the SAPS, from the private property of Sandstone Estates (Pty). State-funded security initiatives along the border have disintegrated in the past few years to the point where little is safe including crops such as wheat and oats, habitually grazed by cattle owned by Sotho nationals.
Although it’s well known that Free State Agriculture is in the process of taking legal action against various state departments on grounds that they, and the state as a whole, have a constitutional obligation to protect citizens from abuse by Lesotho foreign nationals, the ordinary taxpaying commercial farmer remains, for the time being, exposed to the brazen initiatives of criminals using Lesotho as a launch pad for their exploits. – Mike Burgess