South African Man Apprehended While Transporting 23 Undocumented Ethiopians From Zimbabwe
Police at Sebayeng in Limpopo have apprehended 25 undocumented foreign nationals for contravening the Immigration Act. The group, comprised of men aged between 20 and 44, was arrested at Solomondale near Polokwane on Saturday.
The arrest followed an operation initiated by officers in collaboration with private security companies, prompted by information about a white Toyota Quantum observed on the R81 Road in Solomondale. The vehicle, traced back to the Beitbridge port of entry connecting South Africa with Zimbabwe, was located at a filling station along R81 Road in Sebayeng.
Upon inspection, the law enforcement team discovered 23 Ethiopian men, aged between 20 and 38, inside the 15-passenger seater minibus. The 44-year-old South African driver of the Toyota Quantum was found to possess a licensed firearm, which was confiscated for investigation purposes.
Preliminary investigations revealed that all passengers in the Quantum had been illegally smuggled into South Africa from Ethiopia through Zimbabwe. During the operation, another white Toyota Fortuner arrived at the scene, driven by a male foreign national. The driver allegedly attempted to bribe the police with R5,000 to release the Toyota Quantum, resulting in his arrest on charges of bribery.
Both arrested drivers now face charges of human trafficking, bribery, and contravention of the Immigration Act. Major General Jan Scheepers, Acting Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo, commended the law enforcement teams for their dedication and vigilance.
The 25 arrested men are scheduled to appear before the Mankweng Magistrate’s Court on Monday. This incident follows a similar case in November when a 33-year-old man was arrested in Mpumalanga for trafficking 23 foreign nationals – Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals – in a Toyota Quantum. The operation was conducted based on intelligence received about the transportation of undocumented foreign nationals.