Zimbabwean nationals held for bribes: MDC

JOHANNESBURG – Alarming reports of members of the SAPS detaining Zimbabweans with and without proper documents were reported, the Movement Democratic Change said.

“This is despite clear public announcements by the government of South Africa that Zimbabweans shall be enjoying a dispensation until December 31,” MDC Spokesman, Sibanengi Dube, said.

“Those who are being picked up especially in Yeoville are being driven around for hours waiting for relatives to come up with bribery in exchange for freedom of their dear-ones.” He said huge police trucks that are notorious for ferrying Zimbabweans to Lindela Repatriation Centre were seen hovering around in Yeoville and Turffontein this weekend.

“Honestly these guys in blue can’t wait for December 31 before they could fleece ‘cooldrinks’ (bribes) from Zimbabweans.” He said the MDC leadership in South Africa was worried that the deadline was drawing near before much ground has been covered by the two governments responsible for issuing the proper documents to Zimbabweans.

The first applicants for the Zimbabwe passports are still to receive them, he said.

“We again appeal to the South African government to exercise patience and stop immediately to harass Zimbabweans in the streets. “We hope that the SA government will be sympathetic enough to move the deadline to any period after the next year elections.” He said none of the detained Zimbabweans laid criminal charges because it would be “a waste of time.” “That has become the norm…all they have to do is give them (police) a bribe and they are let off the hook very easily” Senior Superintendent Vish Naidoo said Zimbabwean nationals should open criminal cases against the officers.

“People subjected to this behaviour are encouraged to open criminal cases.

“SAPS is committed to the process being implemented by the government to have foreign nationals legitimised and stay here in South Africa,” Naidoo said.

Any form of corruption by any of our members will not be tolerated, he said.-Sunday Times