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Mashaba on Beitbridge 'crisis' - 'If this is not a crime against humanity, then what are the criteria?'

08 January 2021 - 10:30 By unathi nkanjeni
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says SA 'should ensure free and fair elections in Zimbabwe and put an end to human rights abuses'. File photo.
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says SA 'should ensure free and fair elections in Zimbabwe and put an end to human rights abuses'. File photo.
Image: Sowetan

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has weighed in on the chaos at the Beitbridge border post, suggesting it is a “crime against humanity”. 

Mashaba was commenting on a video allegedly filmed at the border that has been doing the rounds on social media.

The video shows a massive crowd sleeping on floors at the border post while trying to get into SA.

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 chaos at the border between SA and Zimbabwe has been making headlines following reports that Zimbabwean authorities banned international travel on January 4.

TimesLIVE reported many Zimbabwean citizens were trying to enter SA legally and illegally.

The influx created a huge backlog in the processing of documentation and Covid-19 testing and screening which resulted in hundreds of people, many not wearing masks, crammed together without social distancing.

Limpopo health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba said at least 104 people had tested positive for Covid-19 at the port of entry during the past four days.

“The Limpopo department of health is calling upon all people coming to SA through the Beitbridge border post to self-quarantine before interacting with others upon arrival at their destinations,” she said.

“With thousands of people stuck at the port for days while waiting for their entry into the country to be processed, the department is worried the events at the border are fast becoming a superspreader.

“Considering the incubation period of the virus, we wish to implore those who will be crossing from Beitbridge to do the right thing and self-quarantine because they have been exposed to a potential superspreader.”