In a recent incident, a bus driver transporting 78 undocumented foreign nationals from Zimbabwe to South Africa abandoned his vehicle and passengers during a routine stop and search operation in Moretele, North West.
The Department of Community Safety and Transport Management reported that the bus, en route to Johannesburg, was halted by officers on the R101 on Wednesday. The driver fled the scene on foot, prompting authorities to take swift action.
All passengers and the driver were revealed to be from Zimbabwe, and the Department spokesperson, Tshegofatso Lucas Mothibedi, stated that traffic police handed the case over to the local police. The passengers were subsequently taken to the Makapanstad police station for document verification, leading to the impounding of the bus.
Immigration officials later determined that all passengers, as well as the driver, were undocumented. Consequently, some individuals were released, while others were taken into custody. The commendable cooperation between traffic police, local authorities, and immigration officials highlights the effectiveness of law enforcement efforts in the region.
Sello Lehari, the MEC of North West Community Safety and Transport Management, praised the collaborative actions of the authorities, emphasizing the significance of their ongoing operations and monitoring mechanisms on roads. Lehari stated, “This is a further testimony that our operations and monitoring mechanisms on our roads are impactful. We had been on all roads – interconnecting and rural – to ensure compliance with the law.”
Highlighting the positive impact of law enforcement efforts, the department revealed that having officials on the province’s roads contributed to a nearly 10% reduction in fatalities compared to the previous year’s festive season.
Looking ahead, authorities are on high alert for the upcoming week, anticipating increased traffic as schools reopen. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of stringent law enforcement measures to ensure the safety and compliance of individuals on the road.