In yet another human trafficking incident, the police in South Africa intercepted a convoy of motor vehicles, carrying over 100 undocumented Zimbabweans.
Acting on a tip-off, the Limpopo Provincial Tracking Team in South Africa intercepted the vehicles, which were en route from Zimbabwe heading to Polokwane.
Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba, a spokesperson for the South African Police Service (SAPS), confirmed the incident to Zimoja.
The convoy was found to be carrying over 100 undocumented foreign nationals, including men, women, and children.
According to Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba, the police received information from a reliable source about the suspicious convoy. The convoy consisted of eight Toyota Quantums, two Toyota Hilux GD6 Double Cab bakkies with canopies, and one Toyota Fortuner.
Acting swiftly on the tip-off, the authorities located and tactically approached the eleven motor vehicles traveling along the N1 North bypass gateway outside Polokwane.
Upon searching the vehicles, law enforcement discovered that they were overloaded with 73 underage children, ranging from six months to seventeen years old, along with 60 adults. None of the passengers were able to provide any legal documentation to justify their presence in the country. Consequently, all individuals were apprehended at the scene.
Brigadier Mashaba highlighted that most of the passengers were unable to establish their intended destination, raising suspicions that they may be victims of human trafficking.
In response to the situation, the police, along with the Department of Home Affairs and Social Development, summoned other stakeholders to process the undocumented foreign nationals and investigate the potential cases of human trafficking.
Growing Concern: Human Trafficking Cases Increase
This incident marks the fourth suspected human trafficking case reported in less than ten days in South Africa. Recently, at the Beitbridge border post, 443 undocumented children were repatriated to Zimbabwe in the 42 buses they were traveling in. Additionally, in Kimberley, a concerned passenger reported 14 undocumented children who had traveled with them from Midrand to Cape Town. Notably, two Zimbabwean nationals were recently arrested in connection with another human trafficking incident in South Africa. The suspects, a 46-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman, were apprehended while traveling on a bus with 14 undocumented minors ranging in age from six to 14 years old.