Fourty Malawians (40) including four children between the ages of 10 and 14 were detained in Polokwane city in South Africa on Thursday.

Traffic officer Vorster Senyolo, a member of the Polokwane traffic department, told local newspaper ‘Polokwane Review’ that last Thursday morning, during a stop-and-go operation, he saw a truck driver trying to avoid being pulled over by taking an earlier off-ramp.

“I decided to follow the truck as I suspected something was amiss.”

According to the officer ,The vehicle had no number plate and was found to be unroadworthy. While inspecting the back of the truck, Senyolo found 36 Malawian passengers hiding.

“I got on to the back of the truck wanting to check the cargo and those passengers were hiding under some water bottles. We impounded the vehicle and the drivers, as well as passengers, were detained,” Senyolo said

The driver of the truck, who is also a malawian , said they were heading for Johannesburg.

“In our country, there is no work, and there is no way to make a living, so I brought these people here to visit Johannesburg and if they are lucky, they can find some work and make money.”
He was bold in saying the truck had been stopped previously, and the passengers were detained, but they were later released and they continued their journey.Said the driver

In total, 40 people were detained, including three women and four children between the ages of 10 and 14.

The owner of the truck and driver were charged with illegally transporting passengers and driving without a driver’s licence, while also driving an unlicensed vehicle that was not roadworthy. It was also found that the vehicle had stolen licence discs.

Passengers who had the necessary documents and were released immidiately and proceed to journey to Johannesburg while the rest will face deportation.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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