12 Zimbabweans bust trying to smuggle underage children into South Africa

A group of 12 Zimbabwean nationals were apprehended at the Jackals No. 1 village in Botswana for attempting to smuggle underage children into South Africa.

The accused individuals, hailing from Zimbabwe and arrested en route to South Africa, were identified as Wandisile Nkomo, Lord Sibanda, Nthabiseni Ncube, German Chuma, Desire Ncube, Zihla Majikijela, Christopher Dube, Vivian Masenda, Dorcus Ndebele, Alton Ngwenya, and Headman Ndlovu.

A publication reports that the charge sheet alleges that on March 29, 2024, the accused entered Botswana through the ungazetted entry point at Ramokgwebana village. All the accused, except Khaya Ngwenya, pleaded guilty to this charge.

A more serious charge of smuggling persons, which violates the Anti-Human Trafficking Act No. 13 of 2018, was also filed against the group. However, pleas on this charge were withheld due to ongoing investigations.

The accused were allegedly smuggling underage children from Zimbabwe into Botswana, and the minors are currently under the care of social welfare officials.

Among the accused, Ngwenya attempted to exonerate his fellow countrymen by claiming they were unaware of the offenses. However, Magistrate Ditebogo Ntuli dismissed this plea, saying it was premature.

The prosecution argued that investigations into the smuggling charges were still in their early stages and emphasized the flight risk posed by the accused, who were reportedly arrested en route to South Africa and lacked permanent residence in Botswana.

The case remains ongoing, and the outcome of the smuggling charge is pending the completion of investigations.

Also Read: AFU siezes R43 Million worth of assets belonging to DRC embassy fraudster

Share This