A Zimbabwean woman died yesterday afternoon in an Eagleliner bus while waiting to be cleared to exit South Africa. There have been long delays in the movement of both vehicular and human traffic at Beitbridge Border Post over the past few days.
The woman whose identity could not be established yesterday reportedly collapsed and died.
According to border sources, she was travelling from Johannesburg to Harare and had been stuck in a queue on the South African border since Monday morning.
“We are yet to get full details on the woman’s death, but what we have so far is that she had been at the border for over 24 hours.
“She was travelling in a Harare-bound bus when she complained of fatigue before collapsing. The bus crew tried to render first aid to no avail,” said an official from South Africa.
The official said the woman was pronounced dead by emergency services workers who were called to the scene and her body was taken to Musina Government Mortuary.
Limpopo police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said he was yet to get details on the incident.
The Zimbabwe Embassy in South Africa was by last night yet to get a brief on the incident.
Meanwhile, in an unrelated incident, 23 people, some believed to be Zimbabweans were injured when an Impala Tours bus they were travelling in overturned a few kilometres after passing Makhado town on Monday evening.
The cross-border bus was travelling from Johannesburg to Zimbabwe along the N1 highway.
Details of what transpired are still sketchy.
The country’s envoy to South Africa, Mr David Hamadziripi said no fatalities were recorded in the Makhado bus accident which occurred on Monday evening.
“We established that there were no fatalities, but there were 23 injured. One was critical, four serious and 18 had minor injuries,” said the ambassador.
“The injured were taken to Louis Trichardt Hospital. We are deeply stressed by the news of this accident, especially at a time when everyone is looking forward to a joyous and festive season of Christmas and the New Year. We wish all those who have been injured a speedy recovery”.
Limpopo’s Department of Transport spokesperson, Mr Matome Moremi said the Makhado bus accident was still under investigation.
Congestion of vehicles and travellers visiting South Africa and Zimbabwe is reigning supreme at Beitbridge Border Post with travellers spending at least two days to access either country.
The situation moved from bad to worse as from December 18 when the South Africans stopped clearing light vehicles, pedestrians and buses between 10PM and 4AM.
They are only clearing commercial cargo at night and this has resulted in vehicles and travellers piling up on either side of the border.
“There is a need for the South Africans to implement the curfew on inbound traffic only and allow passage to departures.
“This will minimise delays because Zimbabwe is clearing traffic on a 24 hour basis,” said a border official.
A total of 1 200 commercial trucks, 100 buses including those in transit and 1 600 light motor vehicles are using the border post daily. — @tupeyo