100 Zimbos Die In South Africa Every Week
16 June 2024
Spread the love

By Political Reporter-The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has disclosed that at least 100 bodies are repatriated from South Africa to Zimbabwe each week through the Beitbridge Border Post.

This figure translates to approximately 400 bodies per month.

The revelation was made during a tour of the upgraded border post by journalists from Masvingo, Chiredzi, Zvishavane, and Beitbridge.

The tour followed a customs and excise training for journalists held at Flamboyant Hotel on June 10 and 11.

Port Health Officer Silibaziso Nkala addressed the journalists, noting that the causes of death varied, including chronic illnesses, accidents, gunshots, and knife stabbings.

“Here we clear the bodies of people who die in South Africa. We verify to ensure they are carrying bodies because people can resort to anything, including smuggling,” Nkala explained. “On average, we process around 100 deceased individuals passing through here weekly. The causes of death vary from chronic illnesses to accidents and violent incidents.”

Nkala expressed concerns about people attempting to smuggle goods along with their deceased relatives. “We also ensure that mourners do not mix dead bodies with other goods. Some try to smuggle items like fuel hidden in coffins and hearses. We usually catch them because we conduct thorough searches before allowing passage. We educate them on the dangers of smuggling goods and that they cannot pass without detection,” she said.

The port also processes the bodies of individuals entering South Africa from Zimbabwe, primarily truck drivers or their spouses who die in Zimbabwe or other countries and are transported to South Africa for burial.

Nkala noted that the facility operates 24/7, but most people prefer to cross on Fridays to bury their loved ones over the weekend.

Additionally, there are cases of children born in South Africa returning to Zimbabwe for the first time.

ZIMRA Beitbridge Regional Manager for Customs and Excise, Lonto Ndlovu, lamented the border’s porousness, which allows for significant smuggling activities since the border stretches for over 100 kilometers. “We cannot monitor all entry points, and people use illegal routes to smuggle goods in and out of the country,” Ndlovu said.

To combat this, ZIMRA has deployed drones capable of monitoring a 10-kilometer radius along the border.

Data from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) indicates that over a million Zimbabweans live in South Africa, many of whom entered the country illegally.

The high number of deaths has led to a rise in funeral insurance companies that specialize in transporting the deceased back to Zimbabwe.

Source: TellZim News