- The Economic Freedom Fighters have exposed a loophole in travel restrictions
- Japenese nationals who had been denied entry into SA managed to enter through Mozambique
- The party helped track down the individuals and are calling for severe action
Strict travel bans implemented in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic have left foreign nationals stranded at international airports as the government clamps down.
The EFF has since revealed that a loophole in the restrictions has been taken advantage of by Japanese nationals who attempted to enter SA illegally.
In a statement released on the concerning issue, the EFF explained how it had tracked the group down after they entered the country through Mozambique:
"After a tip-off, the EFF activated the relevant forces to track these individuals who subsequently travelled to Mozambique, where they disembarked and made their way into South Africa. There are buses carrying these foreign nationals, these buses entered through Lebombo border gate in Mpumalanga. The EFF alerted the South African Police Services who responded with the immediacy the matter deserved."
The reason behind the group's trip to South Africa remains unclear, but the EFF called on the government to ensure that:
- There are measures in place to control access at the border
- There are measures taken to ensure that flights or other modes of transport that are turned back at out points of entry to return to their countries of origin should they carry non-South African citizens
- That there are screening measures in place at our borders and entry points. Put in place consequence management for nations that continue trade with South Africa in bad faith, by sending personnel or envoys while we have travel bans in place
- Create measures to ensure industry and trade is regulated to protect the health interests of South Africa
In addition to this, the EFF called for action to be taken both against the foreigners and those who allowed them to enter the country in the first place:
"It seems that those who are working at our border posts are not performing their due diligence when it comes to those who enter our country. The passports of these Japanese nationals were clearly stamped 'denied' to indicate denial of entry into the country yet they managed to enter South Africa. The EFF has warned of corruption in this difficult time and it seems there are elements of it rearing its ugly head at the risk of our national interests. We call for the immediate detainment of those who work at the Lembobo Border Post in Mpumalanga and for being complicit in jeopardizing national security."
Briefly.co.za reported that the government had stood firm in travel restrictions in recent times, prompting German to deploy chartered aircraft to SA to retrieve stranded citizens.
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