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SA: Bus driver abandons78 undocumented Zim passengers at roadblock


A bus driver who was transporting undocumented Zimbabweans to South Africa, abandoned his vehicle and 78 passengers at a stop and search operation in Moretele in the North West on Wednesday.

The Department of Community Safety and Transport Management said the bus was en route to Johannesburg when officers stopped it on the R101 on Wednesday. The driver fled on foot.

All the passengers and the driver were from Zimbabwe.

Department spokesperson Tshegofatso Lucas Mothibedi said traffic police handed the case over to the police, who took the passengers to the Makapanstad Police Station to verify their documents before impounding the vehicle.

Mothibedi said immigration officials established that all of them were undocumented. Some were released and others were taken into custody, he added. The driver was also undocumented, according to the department.

North West Community Safety and Transport Management MEC Sello Lehari commended authorities for enforcing the law.

"This is a further testimony that our operations and monitoring mechanisms on our roads are impactful. We had been on all roads – interconnecting and rural – to ensure compliance with the law," Lehari said.

The department added that having law enforcement officials on the province’s roads reduced fatalities by nearly 10% compared to the situation over last year’s festive season.

Authorities will be on high alert next week amid an expected rise in traffic before South African schools reopen.

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