Swazi Observer - - NATIONAL NEWS - By Sisho Ma­g­a­g­ula

LEAD­ERS of South Africa’s main op­po­si­tion party, the Demo­cratic Al­liance (DA) are con­cerned about the free move­ment of peo­ple along the bor­der­line sep­a­rat­ing the repub­lic and Eswa­tini.

The lead­ers of the party are par­tic­u­larly un­happy that this oc­curs right un­der the ‘watch­ful’ eye of mem­bers of the South African De­fence Force (SADF).

Ac­cord­ing to yes­ter­day’s Mer­cury news­pa­per, a South African pub­li­ca­tion, the DA lead­ers vis­ited Mshololo in­for­mal cross­ing point on Mon­day and dis­cov­ered that about 500 peo­ple ‘stroll’ in and out of South Africa with­out any checks.

Worth not­ing is that for many years, Emaswati and South African na­tion­als have been trav­el­ling be­tween the two coun­tries via the many in­for­mal cross­ing points along the bor­der­line with­out car­ry­ing travel doc­u­ments.

Part of the del­e­ga­tion that vis­ited Mshololo area on Mon­day in­cluded the DA's Deputy Shadow Min­is­ter of Po­lice, Dianne Kohler Barnard MP, Shadow Min­is­ter of Agriculture and Forestry An­nette Steyn and Zu­l­u­land East Con­stituency Head Hlan­ganani Gumbi.

“We knew that the sit­u­a­tion at the bor­ders was quite bad, but I was still shocked by what I saw there,” Barnard is re­ported to have said.

SANDF spokesper­son Bri­gadier-Gen­eral Mafi Mgob­hozi re­port­edly in­formed the pub­li­ca­tion that the chal­lenge was that there is no fence sep­a­rat­ing the two coun­tries at Mshololo.

“Our chal­lenge as the de­fence force is the is­sue of the fence, there is none there. Even the ar­rests we make tend to be fu­tile be­cause we ar­rest some­one to­day, two or three days later you see them cross­ing back home again,” he said.

When this pub­li­ca­tion con­tacted Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer (PRO) of the Umbutfo Eswa­tini De­fence Force (UEDF) Nkosi­nathi Dlamini yes­ter­day, he said he had not heard about the visit to Mshololo by DA lead­ers, and re­quested to be sent a ques­tion­naire on the is­sue.

The ques­tion­naire was sent to him yes­ter­day and he promised to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter be­fore giv­ing com­ments.

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