Bribes get illegal immigrants into SA

A Zimbabwean who says he bribed police officers at the Beit bridge border post to let him into the country, says corruption is hampering the South African government’s efforts to prevent foreigners from entering the country illegally.

The Minister of Home Affairs has recently announced the December 31 cut-off date for Zimbabweans to apply for a special three year permit.

Police holding cells in Musina are full of illegal Zimbabweans while others allegedly manage to go through the border gates by bribing border officials.

Musina police spokesperson Dakalo Ramagwede says they are waiting for the immigration officers to process deportation papers for the arrested nationals to be sent back home.

“We are arresting but the problem is that now our cells are full, but they do not allow us to stop arresting. The problem is the immigration process, it takes too long so they have to wait. The cells are full and the people are complaining. We are doing our best to take them home.”

The Zimbabwean, who admits he was one of them and wishes to remain anonymous says, “Every time you pass the border you have to pay something, if you don’t have money you don’t pass.”