Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi concludes Beitbridge border post visit
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CAPE TOWN - As chaos at the Beitbridge border post in Musina continued, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi concluded his two-day visit to the site.
Motsoaledi's oversight visit at the border post began on Sunday.
During his visit, Motsoaledi confirmed that more than 700 people were arrested for trying to enter the country illegally. He also investigated allegations of corruption by officials at the border post.
According to Eyewitness News (EWN), Motsoaledi said there was no evidence of corruption at the border post and stated that there were processes in place to curb corrupt activities, including the establishment of the Counter-Corruption Unit in the department.
He said some officials had already been arrested while others faced disciplinary action.
Motsoaledi told the publication that the new unit was established because of the corruption within Home Affairs.
He also stated that some of the arrested officials were serving eight years while others were set to go on trial.
His visit comes after chaos erupted as Zimbabweans tried to re-enter South Africa after Motsoaledi took the decision, which was supported by the Cabinet, not to renew the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP).
Two organisations claiming to be representing the interests of ZEP holders launched an urgent application in the Gauteng High Court to have this decision by Motsoaledi overturned.
At the heart of the dispute is the decision taken by Motsoaledi not to renew the ZEP and to impose a 12-month grace period during which time ZEP holders need to regularise their stay through normal immigration laws of the country. The minister took the decision as he is empowered to do so in terms of the relevant provisions of the Immigration Act of 2002.
The relief sought by these two groups was to be granted permanent residency and that the court should instruct the Home Affairs Department to issue ZEP holders with visas, pending the review of the Motsoaledi’s decision by the courts.
The application was heard on December 28, 2021.
The court subsequently ruled in the minister’s favour.