THE South African Police Service (Saps) yesterday intercepted 44 undocumented foreign nationals, all suspected to be Zimbabweans, during an operation, marking the beginning of their festive season blitz.
By Rex Mphisa
Eighteen other motorists were arrested and spot fines amounting to R18 000 raised during the same operation, Saps said in a statement.
The 44 were arrested separately at a checkpoint outside Polokwane, the provincial capital of Limpopo province closest to Zimbabwe. An officer from the Press and liaison officer, Motlafela Mojapelo said the Limpopo Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba was part of the operation on the N1 highway, leading to Zimbabwe during which several motorists were netted.
“The operation was composed of different law enforcement agencies, along the N1 road, a few killometers outside Polokwane. Eighteen motorists were given spot fines to the total amount of R18 000 for various traffic violations,” he said.
Thousands of Zimbabweans are heading home for the festive season and police in that country maintain heavy presence on the road to Zimbabwe.
It is believed more that three million Zimbabweans are resident legally or otherwise in South Africa after fleeing economic hardships that have haunted Zimbabwe for more than 18 years.
“The operation commenced at 5am. This is part of the ongoing festive season operations taking place across the province,” Mojapelo said. “These kind of operations and related activities will henceforth be the daily occurrence to ensure travellers, the community and tourists are safe on the roads,” he said.
Apart from searching motorists, police also distributed pamphlets on crime prevention and safety tips for motorists, he said. He said the arrested foreign nationals and other suspects would have their cases processed accordingly.