Many Zimbabwean nationals plying their trade in South Africa say they have decided to come back on New Year’s after rumours started circulating in Zimbabwe that the Beitbridge Border post might be closed on Sunday.
A number of buses carrying passengers have been crossing the border into the country. At a stop and search roadblock point in Musina, some of them were found to be undocumented and were deported back to their countries.
They did not possess passports and COVID-19 certificates. One of the Zimbabwean nationals says the rumours of a looming border closure caused him panic and he decided to take an early trip.
“South African side are processing papers very quickly there’s no delay there in South African side the Zimbabwean side as well is only the traffic jam the cars are too much in Zimbabwean side there’s a rumour, which is circulating that maybe on 3rd of January the border is going to be closed. I thought is better for me to go the earlier. We are afraid to stay in Zimbabwe the border might be closed while still in Zimbabwe.”
Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, is expected to visit the Beitbridge border post to assess the situation. Meanwhile, more than 400 people were arrested for alleged contravention of alert level 3 lockdown restrictions in Limpopo on New Year’s and early hours into the New Year.
Police spokesperson Motlafela Mojapelo says the 496 suspects have been arrested for various offences, including failing to wear face masks in public places, transportation of alcohol as well as consuming alcohol in public places. Mojapelo also says the suspects will also be charged with failing to comply with the curfew.