SA Deports 5 Zim Kids
15 April 2024
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In a sudden move that underscores the increasing challenges at South Africa’s borders, Border Management Authority (BMA) Commissioner Mike Masiapato announced the interception and subsequent deportation of five children at Beitbridge, one of the busiest ports of entry, on Sunday. These minors, handed over to the Department of Social Development, were quickly processed and returned to Zimbabwe to reunite with their families.

“The collaboration with our Zimbabwean counterparts was crucial to ensure the safe return of these children to their homes,” Masiapato explained, highlighting the swift international cooperation.

Additionally, at Grobler’s Bridge, another critical border point, authorities encountered a woman with a child attempting to exit South Africa for the Democratic Republic of Congo via Botswana without proper documentation.

Lacking a passport and carrying only an emergency travel document for herself, the woman’s child was undocumented. Both were taken to a secure facility in Limpopo by social services.These incidents came amid a significant increase in border activity, with Masiapato reporting that 1,136,250 travelers were processed across 71 ports of entry in just ten days—an over 20% increase from the previous year.

During the same period, nearly 4,000 individuals were intercepted for attempting to cross the border illegally.

“Of those, 2,403 had no documents whatsoever, and were declared undesirable for five years,” Masiapato said. Others were turned away for having invalid passports or failing to present necessary health certifications, like the yellow fever certificate.The BMA has intensified security measures, deploying an additional 400 junior border guards to manage the influx and ensure safe, legal crossings.

“These efforts have considerably decreased the number of undocumented minors attempting to enter,” Masiapato noted, pointing to a shift towards stronger enforcement and streamlined operations at the borders.This reinforced border control comes as South Africa continues to grapple with high volumes of undocumented migration, stressing the importance of maintaining robust security measures while ensuring humane treatment of all individuals, especially minors.- Agencies