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Calls to close Beitbridge border intensify, as Mashaba blasts ‘ANC failures’

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The situation at the Beitbridge border between Limpopo and Zimbabwe continues to simmer: Earlier on Tuesday, hundreds of foreign nationals gained access to South Africa, forming packed crowds at the national crossing. With fears about the spread of COVID-19 being accelerated by this gathering, Herman Mashaba has also chimed in.

The former Mayor of Johannesburg – and leader of the Action SA party – stated that the pandemic had ‘horrifically exposed’ the ANC’s immigration policies. Mashaba bemoaned a lack of border management, during a week where scores of illegal crossings – through fences, rivers and other illicit means – also took place.

Beitbridge border: latest news and updates for Tuesday 5 December

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The politician, known for his uncompromising rhetoric on undocumented immigrants, also rejected claims that those wanting to close the Beitbridge border are ‘xenophobic’. Herman Mashaba insists that that ‘fixing the system’ would serve foreigners just as well as it would South African citizens:

“South Africa, like all other sovereign countries around the world, [should] only allow foreign nationals who are going to add real value to our country, not liabilities. We don’t have that luxury. The complete failure of the South African government’s immigration policy and border management is being horrifically exposed during this COVID-19 pandemic.”

“I spent three years as a Mayor, dealing with the very real impact of porous borders on SA. It’s not xenophobic to call for an effective immigration system and the consistent application of the laws of our country. This would serve both foreigners and SA citizens. South Africa clearly under siege, with an endless list of problems.”

Herman Mashaba

Earlier this afternoon, ‘Close Beitbridge Border’ became the top trending topic on Twitter. Herman Mashaba seems to have garnered plenty of support for his views, too – with hundreds of social media users expressing their fears about the way this could impact the domestic fight against COVID-19…

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