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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Mashaba’s Beitbridge tour: ‘Congratulations Malema, indeed they found creative ways’

Mashaba says communities near the borders feel the brunt of illegal migration.

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has slammed the South African government for its border management failure as foreigners continue to cross the borders illegally.

Mashaba on Monday embarked on a Beitbridge border tour “to show the challenges posed by our porous borders”, and had nothing positive to say.

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He also “congratulated” Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema for his call to SADC citizens to find “creative ways” to enter South Africa.

Malema made this call in 2021 after the government closed borders during the Covid pandemic.

“If the gates are not going to be open for SADC (Southern African Development Community), fellow SADC people, find a creative way. This is your home. Your families are here. There is no way anyone is going to close you out here,” Malema said during his party’s media briefing at the time.

Mashaba on Monday said the foreigners did find creative ways to enter the country.

“Congratulations, @Julius_S_Malema, your instructions worked. Indeed they found creative ways. You must be proud,” he said.

Malema hit back: “You will be bitten by snakes Mashaba, you can’t even speak properly. You speak like an elderly man under the influence of African beer.”

Mashaba slams government

Last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the Border Management Authority, a single, integrated and “efficient” authority to manage and secure the borders of the country.

“As South Africans, we seek to live in peace and harmony with each other and with our neighbours. We seek a better life, free from fear and want,” said Ramaphosa.

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“When our country’s ports of entry and borders are well-protected and well-managed, we are able to prevent the illegal importation and exit of goods.

“A more secure border is important for curbing illegal migration, human smuggling and trafficking. It will help in combating cross-border crime.”

But Mashaba said he did not see any progress in curbing illegal migration, and poor communities suffered because of it.

“All these people that you see crossing here, when they leave, where do they go? They go into our poor communities. I’m so glad I’m accompanied by traditional leaders, who, on a daily basis face the brunt of illegality in their communities without getting any political support whatsoever,” he said.

“All of us as South Africans can agree that the border management is just a political gimmick to fool us as South Africans. South African laws, as we speak, are sufficient enough to deal with immigration in the country.

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“The only thing we need to do is to follow the laws of our country, allow our criminal justice system to work where there is corruption at Home Affairs, Sars, border posts, and airports. The problem is not only here at the border post. It happens at the airports and everywhere else where people just come in and out of our country.

“What we need first as South Africans is the political will, secondly we need to be brutal in punishing those who break the laws of our country and those who put our country’s future on sale by being involved in corruption. This crisis is a result of corruption that has been happening at Home Affairs for many years.

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“It’s not something that started yesterday, our current government is aware of the illegality that has been happening in our country for a long time. Look at the Guptas and Shepherd Bushiri.”

Mashaba called on the government to secure the country’s borders.

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ActionSA Herman Mashaba Julius Malema Zimbabwe

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