Immigration Officer Throws Tantrum at Beitbridge Border Post, Fights Zimbabwe Travellers
A South African immigration officer stationed at Beitbridge Border Post has caused a stir after a confrontation with Zimbabwe-bound travellers. The officer, Thabo Mogkola, reportedly threw the passports of a group of angry travellers over a nearby fence. The incident occurred after the travellers had complained about Mogkola’s slow pace and rude manner. Mogkola refused to answer questions about the altercation and referred the media to Home Affairs spokesperson Siya Qoza, who did not respond to requests for comment.
Travellers Unhappy with Officer’s Slow Service
According to witnesses who spoke to the Southern Times, the officer’s behaviour became increasingly erratic after travellers began to grumble about his slow service. A white female traveller, who asked not to be named, said
“Travellers were also not happy about his rude manner of speaking, and they started grumbling after spending a long time waiting in the queue. He was deliberately being slow for reasons best known to him and trouble started,” she said.
“He came out of his office and started collecting passports from the crowd. He then went to a fenceclose by and threw the passports over. People scrambled to get their passports, while others physically attacked him,” she said.
The situation escalated after Mogkola threw the passports of the travellers over a nearby fence. Some travellers scrambled to retrieve their passports, while others physically attacked the officer.
The SA Immigration Officer was said to have fought back until some of his colleagues restrained him from fighting the Zimbabwe travellers.
Zimbabwean Travellers Complain of Slow Service
Travellers from Zimbabwe have frequently complained about slow service at the South African side of the Beitbridge Border Post. This incident is just the latest in a string of similar confrontations. It remains to be seen whether any action will be taken against Mogkola or if the incident will lead to changes in the way border officials conduct themselves.