Eff’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has now issued a desperate plea as huge crowds of people remain in limbo at the Beitbridge border crossing between Zimbabwe and Limpopo. Thousands have tried to escape the ‘hard lockdown’ imposed in the neighbouring nation by rushing into South Africa – but new COVID-19 regulations have caused havoc this week.
The requirement of COVID-negative certificates has caused an enormous backlog. Many people have arrived with fake paperwork, and others simply don’t have access to the tests required. It has left a large cohort – of SA residents, foreigners, and those attempting to escape Zimbabwe – unable to proceed with their journeys.
The chaos has spooked a number of prominent South Africans, who fear that an influx of people coming over from Beitbridge could potentially spark a new ‘super-spreader’ event. Herman Mashaba has already called for tighter border controls, but EFF Commissar Mbuyiseni Ndlozi is now campaigning for the exact opposite.
Rather than closing Beitbridge off completely, the Red Beret has asked for all land borders to open up fully. Ndlozi – fearing that this saga could create a humanitarian crisis ‘worse than the pandemic’ – even wants staff at border posts to ignore the required COVID-19 tests, saying that the virus ‘was left in South Africa, and would be found in South Africa’.
“Please open the borders from Zim, Lesotho & Mozambique! They are not bringing COVID-19; they left it here and will find it here. Let them in. It’s not fair – they live here. They are from here. They are part of us! This #CloseBeitbridgeBorder hashtag must be rejected with all the contempt it deserves! Let our people in.”
“They live here, and have been living here for centuries! Closing the border will breed a worse humanitarian crisis than COVID-19. Our humanity is measured not by how we treat our friends and loved ones. Our humanity is measured by how we treat strangers/foreigners. The SA border crisis during this pandemic is the true test of our humanity,” Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.
During Lockdown Level 5 last year we were with our bothers & sisters from Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Botswana & Mozambique. We flattened Covid curve together!
It’s lockdowns, social distancing, masks & sanitisers that help us reduce Covid-19 infections. NOT abuse of foreign nationals!
— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) January 6, 2021