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South Africa to Put Harsh Measures on Border Lines, Regrets Removal of Electric Fence

South Africa to Put Harsh Measures on Border Lines, Regrets Removal of Electric Fence
Beitbridge is a border town in the province of Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe. The name also refers to the border post and bridge spanning the River Limpopo, which forms the political border between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

South Africa to Put Harsh Measures on Border Lines, Regrets Removal of Electric Fence

South Africa’s Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Monday said removing apartheid-era electric fences along the country’s borders was a “terrible mistake.”

Motsoaledi expressed chagrin with the flood of illegal immigrants, particularly from Zimbabwe, which he blamed on “joblessness and hunger.” He said:

We’re dealing here with social and economic systems (in neighbouring countries). The borders during apartheid were the electric fence, the army and all that (sic) which we all removed because we thought we were a democracy.

Now we realise we made a terrible mistake by removing those and replacing them with nothing.

Motsoaledi told the ENCA that South Africa will soon establish a Border Management Authority whose mandate will be to secure borders and combat illegal border crossings. He said:

People are illegally crossing through the border and the army is deployed where they crossover.

Security is tight, but people still try because this is out of desperation from what is happening in neighbouring countries, especially Zimbabwe.

They go down the ladder to then cross the river but the army is waiting for them. We need a Commissioner of the Border Management Authority whose job it is to deal with borders, and we’re already in the process of appointing two deputy commissioners.

South Africa hosts millions of Zimbabweans who have fled hunger, joblessness and political repression, among other things over the years.

According to an article written on 27 January 1990 by the New Scientist “Hundreds of people are said to have been killed by the apartheid-era electric fences along the country’s borders.

The fence which is said to have caused more deaths in three years than the Berlin Wall did in its entire history. Locals used to call the fence the “Snake of Fire.”

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