A pregnant woman crosses under a barbed wire fence, one of a group of 20 Zimbabwean men and women who crossed the border near Beit Bridge on March 31 and then braved the floaded and crocodile infested Limpopo River to get to South Africa. The Department of Home Affairs has reportedly launched a crackdown, which started on New Year’s Day, on illegal South African passport holders intending to enter or leave Zimbabwe through the Beitbridge border post.
The Department of Home Affairs has launched a crackdown on illegal South African passport holders intending to enter or leave Zimbabwe through the Beitbridge border post.
According to Limpopo Mirror, the operation, which started on New Year’s Day, mainly targets Zimbabweans who are in possession of South African travel documents after having allegedly acquired national IDs fraudulently.
An official at the Home Affairs department at Beitbridge, who declined to be named, confirmed the ongoing blitz to Limpopo Mirror.
“There is nothing new about the exercise; it is a just routine operation that Home Affairs conducts every year, especially after the festive season, to flush out foreigners who fraudulently acquired South African passports. There is a special team which was deployed to Beitbridge by our head office to conduct the exercise,” said the official.
One of the affected Zimbabweans using a South African passport said that when he arrived at the immigration counters, a female official started questioning him.
“She then took my passport and gave me a form to complete, saying she doubted whether I was a genuine South African. I was ordered to go back to Zimbabwe.”