FORMER Johannesburg mayor and now opposition ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has called on South Africa to help fix Zimbabwe’s economic and political crisis as possible cure to the continued influx of Zimbabweans into the rich neighbour.
He was commenting on the Beitbridge border crisis in which thousands of Zimbabweans stranded at the border have been forced to sleep in the open while trying to cross into South Africa.
A video allegedly filmed at the border that has been doing the rounds on social media.
Mashaba, who had tough relations with immigrants as Johannesburg mayor, said the crisis at the border post was a “crime against humanity”.
If this is not declared Crime Against Humanity by the International Community, then I wish to understand the criteria in cases where applied https://t.co/RltTS8NmJq
– Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) January 6, 2021
Mashaba said if the situation was not declared a crime against humanity by the international community, he wanted to understand the criteria.
“I am not naive. I fully appreciate the reasons for Zimbabweans fleeing their country after the destruction caused by Zanu PF and enabled by the ANC. We must fix this problem by ensuring free and fair elections in Zimbabwe and putting an end to human rights abuses,” said Mashaba.
“SA already faces massive challenges of unemployment and an overburdened healthcare system. Before we attempt to help the people of the world, we must ensure we are looking after our own citizens. We cannot shoulder the burdens of the world before our own.”
The crisis at the border post has been going on for a period during the just ended festive season with reports some 15 travellers died of hunger, exhausting and related mishaps while waiting for days for their turn to be cleared to cross.
The situation became worse when Zimbabwe abruptly decreed a 30-day lockdown period which came with a ban on land cross border travel, meaning locals who had visited family for the Christmas holidays were under pressure to return before 4 January, when the lockdown became operational.