I WOULD like to bring to the attention of the travelling public and government officials the scam that is going on at the Beitbridge Border Post.
On August 15, th
ree other people and I were returning from South Africa aboard a private motor vehicle.
As we approached the customs and immigration building we saw hundreds of people milling around and a queue of about five to 10 motor vehicles comprising mainly small pick-up trucks laden with goodies purchased from South Africa.
As we disembarked from the car, a tall burly gentleman approached us and offered to “arrange” to spare us the long wait – perhaps two to three hours.
We initially spurned his offer. But as time wore on we obliged since we did not want to travel in the dark.
The gentleman at first asked for R200 for the service but my friend did not have foreign currency and offered him $40 000 in local currency.
He argued this was insufficient and after some haggling settled for $150 000.
We passed through and met up again with the gentleman. He guided us through a fleet of cars which, judging by the dust that had gathered on them, had been there for weeks unattended.
In front of us was a sign post marked “searching”. After waiting for a while, my friend approached a customs official who was checking people’s documents and waving them to proceed.
He looked at our documents and then looked into the distance to our “arranger” who gave him a nod.
The official signed the documents and allowed us to proceed to the final departure gate.
It is quite obvious that the customs official and the “arranger” were in cahoots.
It was apparent too that a scam is rife whereby the travelling public is forced to pay for quick entry. Talk of corruption!
I hope that the powers-that-be will put a stop to this corruption.