File picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

Pretoria - The Maseru Bridge border post was open and back to normal on Friday morning despite simmering tension between South African and Basotho taxi operators.

Immigration processes were lasting just a few minutes, with people seemingly not bothered by the events of the past week which culminated with the blockage of the bridge for more than two days.

Taxis from Lesotho were attacked and passengers injured as the drivers attempted to enter South Africa.

At the root of the problem was the persistence by Basotho drivers to ferry passengers into South African instead of passing them on to their South African counterparts as has been the case since 2005.

On Friday morning, no taxis from Lesotho were crossing the bridge, and passengers were seen walking to the South African taxi rank.

Some had luggage and were boarding taxis to long distance destinations such as Pretoria, Joburg, Durban and the North West province.

According to immigration officials, workers comprised a bigger chunk of the more than 2 000 people who cross the border post on a normal day.

There are thousands of domestic workers and miners from the Mountain Kingdom working in South Africa.

Basotho taxi operators have promised to cease fire for the sake of passengers while the leadership of the Manyatseng Taxi Association on the SA side vowed no taxi from across the border would go past them with passengers.

Talks between the two countries are continuing.

Pretoria News