Brian Sokutu
Senior Print Journalist
3 minute read
14 Jan 2021
4:45 am

Borders must be controlled

Brian Sokutu

An orderly movement of people through our borders is what we need.

A gate left open and unguarded along the border fence between South Africa and Zimbabwe near the Beit Bridge Border crossing in Limpopo, 5 January 2021. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Fences meant to clearly demarcate boundaries between countries and their neighbours can sometimes heighten emotions. In 2003, Botswana – known for its many cattle – saw the government of President Ian Khama building a 480km electric fence on the part of its border with Zimbabwe to stop the movement of livestock, due to phytosanitary concerns stemming from the risk of transmission of foot-and-mouth disease. The then Zimbabwean high commissioner to Gaborone, Phelekeza Mphoko, wasted no time in branding Khama’s move as “Botswana trying to create a Gaza Strip”, with an agenda to block an uncontrolled influx of illegal Zimbabwean immigrants...