Gaborone — About five citizens were refused entry into South Africa through the Sikwane Border Gate because they did not have affidavits for their children.
An immigration officer at the border gate, Ms Catherine Puso explained that some Batswana did not abide by immigration laws which required an affidavit from a person who crossed the border with children under the age of 16.
Ms Puso explained in an interview that some Batswana still failed to comply with immigration laws despite the availability of such information.
She noted that the Immigration Amendment Act of 2015 required any parent travelling with a minor aged below 16 to have an affidavit for such minors.
She said some Batswana became aggressive when they were required to produce the affidavit, adding that some of them even refused to queue so that they could be assisted properly.
The immigration officer further decried the shortage of staff at the border gate, noting that the border operated with three officers during the Christmas holidays. She added that it forced them to work overtime.
She explained that on December 23, the border gate was forced to extend hours from the normal 7pm closing time to 8pm.
He added that there was a high number of people crossing at the border on December 23, and that some four buses transporting Bakgatla from Rustenburg to Botswana arrived late at the border on the day and that it was another factor that forced them to close late.
Ms Puso noted that there were 1 733 arrivals from December 23 to December 25.
Meanwhile, the Tlokweng Border Gate also experienced high volumes of travellers during the Christmas holidays.
The immigration officer at the border post, Mr Kedumetse Lepang said more than 17 000 people had either entered or left the country since last Friday.
He said movement was busy from both sides of the border, and that they had been experiencing congestion as people began to return into the country.
On other issues, Mr Lepang explained that they arrested 17 illegal immigrants who were on transit from South Africa to Zimbabwe through the Tlokweng Border Gate.
He explained that those arrested were trying to cross illegally at ungazzetted places by the Tlokweng border.
He appealed to parents who crossed the border with minors to always bring the required documentation to avoid unnecessary delays.
The documents, he said, include an affidavit and birth certificates for children under the age of 16.
He said those who would not bring the required documents would not be allowed to cross the border with minors under the age of 16.
Source : BOPA