Zeerust, North West - Two Somali men were arrested near Zeerust, North West, for allegedly trying to smuggle six children and a woman into South Africa, police said on Tuesday.

The Hawks caught the men at the Swartkop border post around 9.30pm on Monday, spokesman Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said.

“The two men were found in the border post entering South Africa from Botswana illegally with six children and a woman.”

In their car they had a four-month-old boy, a pair of four-year-old twin boys, two 10-year-old girls, and a 14-year-old boy. Two of the children were found in the car's boot. The woman, 35, claimed to be the baby's mother, Ngubane said. The children were taken to a place of safety in Mahikeng while the matter was investigated.

The men would appear in Zeerust Magistrate's Court on Wednesday on charges relating to contraventions of the Immigration Act. Other charges could be added as the investigation unfolded. - Sapa