A number of truck drivers were arrested last week by immigration officers after they reportedly went into the premises of a trucking company in Germiston with the aim of checking for legal documentation. This took place on Thursday 16 March 2017.
Eneless Lungu is one of the truck drivers arrested and sent the following voice note to the SADC Truck Drivers Association in the hopes of getting some assistance with the issue.
In the note, she states that the immigration officers picked up 31 drivers, 5 of whom it turned out after verifying with Home Affairs in Pretoria were not on the system.
She went on to provide further details in the note below…
Following the appeals from Eneless Lungu for assistance, the SADC Truck Drivers Association held a meeting on Saturday 18 March 2017 and released a strong statement in the voice note below calling for a boycott on entering South Africa by truck drivers on the 26th of March 2017 in solidarity with the arrested colleagues.
On Saturday 18 March, the ZASA President Ferdinand Simaanya issued an official notification which stated that the Zambia High Commissioner His Excellence Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba had instructed senior High Commission officers Mr Sakala and Mrs Chimalilo to handle the case of the detained drivers working for Hermis.
Initial contact had been made to the South African police and their response was that the drivers were brought in by immigration officers and they don’t have any powers to release the drivers.
It was advised that the two senior officials from the High Commission would engage the immigration department yesterday [Monday 20 March] and push for the drivers to be released and thereafter engage the immigration department to give reasons why the drivers are detained. Further updates will be provided as the story unfolds.
“Valid reasons need to be given and further updates will be given. Let us all remain calm as we wait for our government officials to deal with this very sensitive matter. Thank you.” – Ferdinand Simaanya, ZASA President.