Beitbridge Blues          - 9/12/2014      <--Prev : Next-->

I wonder what the top South African Immigration officials would say if they knew what was happening at the Beitbridge Border post
Christmas is usually a tense time of the year at border posts, an inordinate amount of traffic both coming and going, but the ugly problems at Beitbridge need to be addressed urgently.

Horror stories abound and it takes a brave man to travel to or from South Africa by road, at any time of the year, especially the holiday periods like Easter, Hero's weekend and of course Christmas and New Year.

Is it the heat that makes the immigration folk so testy

According to the folk who have tested the border recently, and I quote : 'It is mainly on the SA side and directed at SA citizens as well as visitors. I have in the past been threatened with being arrested on the SA side when I demanded to be treated as a returning South African. I truly believe the staff at the border posts that border Zim are a low calibre of staff and are sent to these posts as punishment and that is why they are so arrogant and rude.'

Border posts strike dread in all of our hearts, some people breeze through, some have horrendous experiences, including our family, who witnessed chaos, confusion and even rifle-butting by the armed forces once during Christmas a few years ago.

Another recent border cross had this to say - 'I have felt for a long time that there is a strong xenophobic attitude on the S.A. side of the border. Once I said to one of the officials that Zimbos brought a lot of money into the country and he replied - only to the Indians -a very uninformed remark!'

And finally I quote a recent visitor to South Africa

'We went South recently. The guards were threatening people with tazers and treating us like cattle! People weren't allowed to sit on the side steps after being in the queue for hours. Also what's the point of screening people for ebola in such a crowded environment - if there happened to be someone with ebola everyone would get it!!
The guards were rude, arrogant and totally evil!! When you get to the person who stamps your passport its another issue - they can just stop working and talk to you like you are a piece of disgusting manure!!'

Who can bring this to the attention of the Immigration Officials at head office Moves have already been made to get Carte Blanche involved, it would indeed make a juicy story.

In the meantime what about our tourists What about South Africa's tourists It would appear that it is more often a problem on the SA side than on the Zim side....

Lets make Christmas home comings happy occasions instead of stressful situations. Someone please whisper into the ear of the Powers that Be