May 20 2017- AS UNCERTAINTY grips Zimbabweans in SA on the outcome of ZSP, there has been a rise in the number scammers, who are taking advantage of the situation by demanding money for renewal or migration to other documentation.
“With the ZSP coming to an end, certain Zimbabweans are taking the opportunity to swindle fellow Zimbabweans, and other Africans by promising them documents including permanent residence,” says a Pretoria based Zimbabwean journalist, who recently helped police setup a sting operation against scammers, who were eventually arrested this week.
“There are many stories of a syndicate of Zimbabweans thugs, surprisingly they all call themselves “Themba”. They approach unsuspecting foreigners, luring them into a cash-for-documents scam. A trap was set for this group and when two “Thembas” arrived to collect cash, they were arrested and detained at Pretoria central,” narrates the Zimbabwean journalist.
“An agreement was reached that the car they use in the crimes, a Mercedes-Benz C180 with reg CG 29 LR GP is impounded while they promised to pay back the money they had taken. The “Themba” who was caught in the operation is one Zimbabwean guy from Rentspuy Flats in Sunnyside, Pretoria,” says the journalist.
“He was with one of their runners and he cut a deal with police,” alleges the journalist who says he has been getting SMSs threatening him as recently as this morning (Saturday).
“But I will not be intimidated, not now, I will put these guys out of business,” vows the journalist.
“Maybe there are others out there who have been swindled in the same manner,” he adds.
But it seems this is happening countrywide as another group of Zimbabweans say there is another scammer whose based in Cape Town and is charging R200 for “original and valid SA citizenship, IDs and permits, I have a friend of mine who works at Home Affairs,” says the scammer who gives his name as Tino.
According to ZimsInSA.com sources the Tino is “stealing” numbers from WhatApp groups and approaching them with the offer, claiming that his are cheap because its an emergency, end of month and after the 23rd they will costing R1 600.
Panic and anxiety has gripped Zimbabweans in SA, as the SA government remains mum on what will happen after their ZSP permits expire after December.
Former Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba left the issue unanswered, but encouraged Zimbabweans to migrate to other statuses while his successor Hlengiwe Mkhize ,one month down the line since her appointment remains mum on the issue, saying on Radio 702 recently that they were doing an audit to see if those “complaining did actually apply”
While some Zimbabweans are advocating for “patience”, a lot of Zimbabweans in SA, are losing job opportunities, promotions, etc and cannot even enrol their children for grade one next year because of the uncertainty.
“The least the South Africans can do is give us adequate notice, so we can plan our future,” says one Zimbabwean. – ZimsInSA.com reporter.