The northbound line to South Africa’s Beitbridge Border Post remains clear this morning despite scenes of overcrowding playing out north of the Limpopo River as thousands of Zimbabweans try to cross into South Africa.
According to a clearing agent in Musina, traffic going north remains congestion free thanks to Zimbabwean law enforcement officials and military personnel preventing people from getting into the border control zone.
“As long as they can’t get into the round-about area, traffic flow through the border going north is under control,” the agent said.
This was in stark contrast to scenes yesterday when people were allowed onto the bridge.
In the meantime, South African health minister Aaron Motsoaledi has confirmed that soldiers from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) have been deployed in increasing numbers to monitor the developing chaos in Zimbabwe.
Such has the efficacy of the SANDF been, Motsoaledi said, that Zimbabweans trying to flee from intolerable lockdown restrictions and food shortages in their own country were being prevented from crossing the Limpopo at the border post.
Since the mass migration of Zimbabwean emigres - both those with South African permits and those without - started after the end of the festive season, some 500 people have been detained by SANDF members as they tried to cross the Limpopo illegally.
“Had it not been for the SANDF I don’t know what we would’ve done,” the clearing agent said.