The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has shared a few tips on border control after Japanese nationals entered South Africa through the Lebombo border gate on Sunday.
According to the EFF, the group is possibly part of the group of passengers on one of the 14 aircraft that were turned back last week after landing at OR Tambo International Airport, though these claims have not been confirmed.
“Currently there is no evidence that these are any passengers who tried to enter through our airport and were turned away. We can only confirm that foreign nationals from high-risk countries are not permitted to enter,” said OR Tambo in a statement following the incident.
The individuals reportedly argued Japan was not on the list of high-risk countries.
The EFF said it received a tip-off that resulted in it “tracking down” the Japanese nationals, who travelled from Mozambique to South Africa through the Lebombo border gate in Mpumalanga on Sunday.
“The EFF alerted the police in Mpumalanga. The South African Police Service responded with the immediacy that the matter deserved. The SAPS together with the EFF tracked down the buses. Subsequently, these buses were stopped at Machadodorp Tollgate heading towards Gauteng through the N4. The destination or intentions of these individuals in the country are currently unclear and unknown. 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,” said the EFF in a statement.
It has called for “harsh” consequences for those who breach set regulations.
Passports of the individuals were stamped “denied”, alleged the EFF, though an official at the Lebombo Border Gate confirmed to the Lowevelder that the group did go through passport control.
“They are in the country legally and we do not understand why they were brought back here,” the official was quoted as saying.
TimesLive has reported that government’s command council was discussing the incident.
The party has now shared the following tips with the president, ministers of health, home affairs, trade and industry, transport, and defence:
- Ensure there are measures are in place to control access at the border during this pandemic.
- Ensure that there are measures taken to ensure that flights or other modes of transport are turned back at our points of entry return to their countries of origin should they carry individuals who do not have residency in South Africa.
- Ensure that there are screening measures in place at our borders and entry points besides airports and provide us of statistics in that regard
- 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 are regulated to protect the health interests of South Africa which must be prioritised above profit.