Beitbridge Child Trafficking Incident Highlights Ongoing Struggles, says Border Management Authority

Mike Masiapato, the Head of the Border Management Authority (BMA), revealed that the interception of an attempted trafficking operation involving over 400 children from Zimbabwe into South Africa at the Beitbridge border post on Saturday is indicative of the daily challenges they face.

Addressing the media on Sunday, Masiapato discussed the BMA’s preparedness for the upcoming festive season and underscored the persistent issues they encounter regularly. During the briefing, he disclosed the discovery of 443 children in buses at the Beitbridge border post, suggesting they were in the process of being trafficked into the country.

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In an interview with 702’s Bongani Bingwa on Monday, Masiapato explained their approach to such situations: “What we always do is that firstly in those instances, especially when people are ferrying people who don’t have the proper documents to enter the country, we charge the driver for aiding and abetting, and we also charge them for the individuals.”

Despite their efforts, Masiapato acknowledged the inherent challenges in curbing the issue. He emphasized that even after taking actions such as banning specific buses, traffickers often find ways to circumvent the measures by using different buses with altered number plates. The complexity of the problem, he noted, is a daily struggle for the Border Management Authority.

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