Faizel Patel
Senior Digital Journalist
2 minute read
20 Jun 2022
5:06 pm

WATCH: OR Tambo tightens security after foreign nationals sneak into SA via fire hydrant hole

Faizel Patel

Eight undocumented foreign nationals were arrested at OR Tambo International for attempting to enter the country through a fire hydrant.

Screengrab of the video.

Department of Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says his department is considering reviving transit visas in an attempt to help deal with foreign nationals entering South Africa illegally.

This comes after eight undocumented migrants were arrested at OR Tambo International Airport for attempting to enter the country through a fire hydrant.

A video of the four Bangladeshi and four Pakistani nationals being arrested for entering the country illegally shows how they sneaked into airport to evade arrest

It also shows police officers awaiting the men in the process of exiting the fire hydrant door.

Motsoaledi says the Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals used the Eswatini and Mozambique routes to enter the country through O.R Tambo International.

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Motsoaledi said since the incident, a Home Affairs official in immigration was arrested.

“He was allegedly aiding Bangladeshi citizens into the country illegally so they have been on high alert.”

Motsoaledi said he was contacted by an airport immigration official who sent him pictures.

“I found out that four Bangladeshi and four Pakistani were arrested. In recent days the number of Bangladeshi and Pakistani citizens who come via Qatar Airways en route to Eswatini or Lesotho but they use OR Tambo as a transit point…”

Motsoaledi and Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, addressed the media at O.R Tambo, discussing improved measures to deal with security challenges at airports, following reports of illegal immigration and corruption.

The latest arrest is part of ongoing efforts by Home Affairs authorities and police to punish syndicates working with foreign nationals intending to enter the country illegally.

Recently, the kingpin of a syndicate, fraudulently issuing passports and other crucial documents to foreign nationals was arrested in a sting operation.

Motsoaledi and Mbalula say authorities and law enforcement agencies will remain on high alert to ensure no corrupt or criminal activities take place at airports.

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