HARARE— At least 11 Zimbabweans who attempted to cross the crocodile-infested Limpopo River into South Africa are feared dead after a boat transporting them capsized, while three others were swept away in different incidents.
Beitbridge Police District Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo saidt only one body had been recovered so far.
“So far a body has been recovered, but yet to be identified,” he said.
He added that two more bodies were located in the river, on the South African side.
Nyongo said they had informed the South African Police Services (SAPS) who were expected to dispatch a helicopter to the area.
News was rife in the Beitbridge town that a boat carrying eight people capsized on Sunday near Gate 7 east of the border post, but Nyongo said: “We have not received that report; at times people do not report these incidents and that is cause for concern.”
Sources in Beitbridge alleged that the eight believed to have drowned were seen in an inflated boat near Dite Village, 40 kilometres east and downstream from the bridge.
Crossing the river is cheaper, but riskier than going through the border post. Speaking to journalists, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said they had observed the trend of illegally crossing into South Africa through the border and they had put in place “firewalls” to curb it.
Motsoaledi claimed that “corrupt” members of Zimbabwe’s border patrol unit allowed undocumented Zimbabweans to cross into South Africa.
Police and military personnel from both countries were working together in an operation “not to cross border crimes” and significant arrests had been made on both sides of the border.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK