By Thupeyo Muleya
South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Mr Malusi Gigaba yesterday made a surprise visit to Beitbridge Border Post following reports of dereliction of duty by immigration officers at the port of entry. Mr Gigaba was accompanied by some senior officials from his ministry.
Sources at the border said the minister’s visit was in response to a video of one female immigration officer, who was caught on camera while devoting much time on her smartphone rather than clearing travellers.
Soon after the video leaked, the female officer and three supervisors were suspended.
“He arrived at around midday and we are yet to get details of some of his findings though indications are that he discovered that several computers had been tempered with and no biometric information was being captured,” said the source.
Both Mr Gigaba and the Home Affairs spokesperson, Mr Thabo Mokgola could not be reached for comments.
However, he confirmed the visit through his twitter handle.
“I have just arrived in Musina, Limpopo, for a surprise visit at the Beit Bridge Border Post,” he said.
Another source, said the minister had also promised to set up a team to probe the state of the computers, which had been tempered with.
The Herald is reliably informed that the clearance of travellers entering or leaving South Africa by road through Beitbridge improved last Thursday following the suspension of four immigration officers.
Prior to the latest development accessing South Africa by road through Beitbridge had become a nightmare for most travellers.
They would spend over three hours to enter or leave the neighbouring country.