The Home Affairs Department says that the delays at the Beitbridge border post in Limpopo are not immigration related.
You have been sitting on the bus for hours, you get to the border, there are at least seven buses that got there before yours and none have been served.
It is now 6 am (if you are lucky) and the last time you had a shower was the day before. The loo is so dirty you beg your bladder not to betray you and you munch down bananas because apparently, they help to keep your pee at bay.
The staff keeps coming and shouting at everyone to get into some pointless long queue and you see everyone, including old men and women, quickly scurry over to that queue, no questions asked, even though you were standing in the previous one for four hours.
Babies are crying, everyone smells like a well “cooked” human. Every time the queue moves one inch, the 80 people behind you huddle so close to each other trying to quicken the agony of dealing with passport clearance ordeal and all it does is make you feel like an overripened tomato in a soggy sandwich.
I was this morning informed about the video circulating on social media platforms, and have asked the Department of @HomeAffairsSA to investigate this matter and take swift action against the official. pic.twitter.com/ZwllSemEyZ
— Malusi Gigaba (@mgigaba) March 14, 2018
After spending hours in the queue, you go up to the counter and this is how the border post people treat you: After your passport is finally stamped, the person boringly holds on to it for an extra 10 seconds then, when you cannot take any more, disinterestedly throws it at you. You even say thank you for hoping these people will treat the next person better.
God forbid you to request a certain number of days to stay in South Africa. You: “Please can I have 14 days?” Agent: Looks at you for two seconds and says nothing and when you get outside, you realise the agent stamped three days! Almost like a final go to hell moment for them to you.
We are less than human to these people.