Fifty-one (51) Zimbabweans were arrested at the Beitbridge Border Post as they were trying to illegally enter into South Africa.
The group is among 124 people who had just been deported from South Africa for violating that country’s immigration laws.
The police officer commanding Beitbridge District, Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo said four crew members of a South Africa-registered bus which was carrying the border jumpers are in custody for allegedly assisting the immigrants.
A source with the Ferrets told Chronicle that the immigrants were found hiding under the bus seats to avoid detection. The source said:
A team led by Major (George Mvura) from the army was patrolling the area when they stopped the two buses which had just dropped deportees from Lindela (in Johannesburg) at the NSSA hotel.
They conducted a physical search of the two buses, as per standard procedure leading to the discovery of 51 people hiding under the seats.
The source said after interrogations, the immigrants revealed they had paid R13 000 to bus crew members for transportation back to Johannesburg.
This comes amid reports that with the assistance of South African and Zimbabwean security personnel, many Zimbabweans have been flocking into South Africa illegally to get employment or to purchase goods for resale back home.
This is attributed to a myriad of issues in Zimbabwe including the government’s failure to produce enough passports and the collapse of the economy.