- Eight illegal foreigners were arrested at OR Tambo International Airport for attempting to enter South Africa.
- Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi says because South Africa does not have transit visas, that has made it easy for illegal foreigners to make their way into the country.
- The department plans to reinforce transit visas following the incident.
The Department of Home Affairs plans to reinforce transit visas after eight illegal foreigners were arrested at OR Tambo International Airport for attempting to enter South Africa on Wednesday.
They entered a network of tunnels via a fire prevention system, officials said.
The four illegal Bangladeshi and four illegal Pakistani nationals allegedly arrived on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha.
The incident prompted Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi and Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula to visit the airport.
According to Motsoaledi, because South Africa does not have transit visas, that has made it easy for illegal foreigners to make their way illegally into the country.
“This is what they do… and I think they are starting to abuse it,” he said.
Motsoaledi said recently, there has been an increase in the number of Bangladeshi and Pakistani citizens who come via Qatar Airways, a route used to go to Lesotho or Eswatini – which is where these illegal foreigners were going.
In this case, OR Tambo is used as a transit point, he said.
Motsoaledi said those who were supposed to move through to the transit lounge to go to the country they were supposed to go instead took a ‘detour’.
“The police officer who is part of the security at the airport noticed and followed the group.
“One of them was holding a phone, which meant they were being directed through the airport because they do not know it, as they are not from here,” said Motsoaledi.