June 05 2017 – CRIMINAL activities have risen at the Alfred Beit Bridge (Old Limpopo Bridge) where touts, thieves, conmen, wheeler dealers and vendors are terrorising pedestrians despite the border post being declared a security zone in 2004.
Thugs and other criminals have turned the bridge into a no-go area at night, with muggings, robberies and murder rife despite security from SA and Zimbabwe manning the area.
A Beitbridge man was recently attacked and killed by unknown assailants while walking along the bridge near the SA police checkpoint.
Touts soliciting for smugglers or illegal immigrants and vendors selling food items and water have become a common feature on the bridge.
Criminals find their way to the border through an illegal entry point behind the defunct duty free shop and the old border road.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Philisani Ndebele urges members of the public should always follow legal procedures at the border post and not engage touts and conmen.
Beitbridge Senator Tambudzani Mohadi said besides the border post, criminal activities were also rife along the borderline.
“It is worrying that travellers are no longer safe at a place (Old Limpopo Bridge) with a high presence of security personnel.”
Last year, Government budgeted $600 000 to upgrade security facilities at the port of entry to stop corruption and intrusive leakages in or out of the country.
Some of the money was used to buy motorbikes and border patrol vehicles, lie detectors, metal and mobile baggage scanners and CCTV cameras which have already been installed. – Herald