200 returning Zimbabwean citizens who were in South Africa have been banned by authorities at the South African side of the Beitbridge border post from entering the country for 5 years after overstaying because of the lockdown.
This was done despite the South African government declaration made by home affairs that foreign nationals stuck in South Africa due to the lockdown were exempted from the penalty.
One woman who spoke to the publication said
“They said, those who have got a valid passport, make your own line. Those who have overstayed because of lockdown, make your own line. When the immigration stamped the passport, those who had the passport who expired during the lockdown, they were given the stamp for five years”.
However, The South African Department of Home Affairs’ Siya Qoza has said people who stuck because of the lockdown were not going to be banned from re-entering South Africa. He further stated that those that were banned were supposed to appeal the ban in 30 days.
“Such people are allowed to leave without being barred from returning to the country, making use of the email address on the document they were given”.