March 19 2018 – REPORTS of Zimbabweans being ill treated and being subjected to inhumane treatment by SA immigration officials continue to surface.
One Zimbabwean traveller who was travelling with her teenage daughter to Zimbabwe, using the border post, claims Zimbabweans are being made to queue in a cage, while a reader who wants to remain anonymous, has sent various media houses a letter describing the conditions at the border post.
“That Zim/SA border is dehumanising! Imagine this:
You have been sitting in the bus for hours, you get to the border, there are at least seven buses that got there before yours and none have been served.
It is now 6 am (if you are lucky) and the last time you had a shower was the day before. The loo is so dirty you beg your bladder not to betray you and you munch down bananas because apparently they help to keep your pee at bay.
The staff keeps coming and shouting at everyone to get into some pointless long queue and you see everyone, including old men and women, quickly scurry over to that queue, no questions asked, even though you were standing in the previous one for four hours.
Babies are crying, everyone smells like a well “cooked” human. Every time the queue moves one inch, the 80 people behind you huddle so close to each other trying to quicken the agony of dealing with passport clearance ordeal and all it does is make you feel like an overripened tomato in a soggy sandwich.
After spending hours in the queue, you go up to the counter and this is how the border post people treat you: After your passport is finally stamped, the person boringly holds on to it for an extra 10 seconds then, when you cannot take any more, disinterestedly throws it at you. You even say thank you hoping these people will treat the next person better.
God forbid you request a certain number of days to stay in South Africa. You: “Please can I have 14 days?” Agent: Looks at you for two seconds and says nothing and when you get outside, you realise the agent stamped three days! Almost like a final go to hell moment from them to you.
We are less than human to these people.”
This follows a social media video of a SA immigration official talking on the phone, while stamping passports, prompting, SA Home Affairs minister, Malusi Gigabe for his department to investigate, last week.
The findings of this investigation are yet to be made public. -IOL,ZimsInSA.com reporter