South African minister orders Zimbabwe bus company ban

BEITBRIDGE – South Africa’s Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has ordered officials to revoke the cross border licence of a Zimbabwean bus company found carrying undocumented immigrants.

Motsoaledi was at Beitbridge on Easter Monday to assess the illegal immigration crisis at the end of the holiday period.

He reacted angrily when a Rimbi Travel and Tours bus was intercepted allegedly carrying illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe.

“I’m irritated because the owners of that bus think we’re clowns in South Africa. They don’t obey any law whatsoever, they were given a cross border licence by the authorities but they are misusing it,” Motsoaledi fumed.

“I’m irritated because very recently they were fined R420,000 for ferrying illegal people in South Africa and that’s the law. According to the law, they should be paying R15,000 per person but they never paid, and I’m made to understand they are allowed (on the road) yet they never paid.

“What’s worse is that the driver doesn’t have a passport. There’s no way in the world a bus driver would be allowed to cross a border without a passport.

“I’ve ordered him to be arrested because he is a habitual law breaker. That’s undermining a country, that time is over and something serious is going to happen.”

Motsoaledi claimed “the biggest problem in South Africa is people crossing the border illegally.”

Hundreds of people were arrested trying to enter South Africa illegally during the Easter break, the minister said.

Motsoaledi witnessed the burning of tyres which were seized by South African border officials as they were being transported to Zimbabwe.

“It’s not only the people, there are tyres burnt by a joint operation of immigration officials, the police and the army, because they are being smuggled into Zimbabwe,” he revealed.

“It’s not like we don’t want people to cross the border with tyres, legally they should, but the Zimbabwe government doesn’t want them to buy from South Africa but locally.”

The border management authority established six months ago had made headway in combating illegal activities at the border, he claimed.

“From Monday, April 11, to Monday the 18th of April, more than 700 people have been arrested,” the minister said.

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