Beitbridge congestion – Travellers tear-gassed by SA police


Zimbabwean Police are set to meet their South African counterparts following an incident in which the South African officers used tear gas to control travellers at their side of the border last Friday morning. The majority of the travellers were Zimbabweans, with others coming from countries north of the Zambezi.

The South African Police Services (SAPS) used tear smoke to control travellers at around 9am as the number of human traffic started increasing at Beitbridge Border Post.

No one was injured in the incident which lasted for about 15 minutes when people started showing their discontent with the slow way they were being cleared by immigration officials from that country.

Some travellers started jumping queues after they had spent between three and four hours waiting to gain passage into South Africa. Police officer commanding Beitbridge district Chief Superintendent Lawrence Chinhengo said yesterday that the incident was a great cause for concern.

“This was a very unfortunate incident. We are not happy with the method our counterparts used to control queues and have since communicated to them that we need to have an urgent bilateral meeting to iron out the issue. There are better ways to manage people rather than the tear smoke. It is of paramount importance that we meet and find better ways to control crowds during this festive season,” he said. Source:

For more insight also read “Zim travellers stranded at border post” on


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