Ndlozi on calls to close Beitbridge: Open the borders or deal with a worse humanitarian crisis than Covid-19

The EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says the way SA deals with the crisis at the Beitbridge border post will be a true test of the country’s humanity.
Image: Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has weighed in on the debate around the Beitbridge border post, claiming that closing the border between SA and its neighbours could cause a disaster greater than the Covid-19 pandemic.

Videos allegedly from the border have been shared widely on social media this week, showing massive crowds delayed while trying to get into SA. This is as officials in Limpopo identified 18 cases of fake negative Covid-19 test results produced at the post by people attempting to enter the country.

The videos sparked a huge debate on social media, with the hashtag #CloseBeitbridgeBorder topping the local Twitter trends list.

Weighing in on the conversation, Ndlozi said calls for the border to close should “be rejected with all the contempt it deserves”.

He claimed closing the border would be “inhumane” and “breed a worse humanitarian crisis than Covid-19”.

“Let our people in. They are part of us. They live here and have been living here for centuries,” he said.

How SA dealt with the border crisis would be a true test of its humanity, he said.

“Our humanity is measured not by how we treat our friends and loved ones. Our humanity is measured by how we treat strangers/foreigners. The SA border crisis during this pandemic is the true test of our humanity. Don’t be inhuman. Open the borders. Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique are us.”

Ndlozi also took aim at Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, urging him to take mobile test stations to the border with SA.

Responding to Mnangagwa’s plea for citizens to avoid large gatherings and non-essential travel, Ndlozi wrote: “Chief, can you stop grandstanding on Twitter. Take mobile test stations to your borders with SA. This is the most urgent problem now. The border is presenting a big super-spreader event.

“Oh, and are you actually tweeting from a holiday or from work?” he added.

by Kyle Zeeman

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