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MBABANE - Run for your life!

This is what some emaSwati who are based in South Africa (SA) are seemingly doing, as they were notably making their way back into the country yesterday. This comes after SA President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a lockdown which will be effective from midnight tomorrow in that country. Some people were already flooding the Ngwenya Border Gate, making their way into that country.


When this reporter visited the border, about 100 people had entered the country in a space of an hour. Most of them had their luggage with them on entry. In an interview with Mphilenhle Makhanya, he stated that he had come back because of the announced lockdown in the neighbouring republic. He stated that he did not imagine himself staying for 21 days indoors when he had a family in the kingdom. When asked if he did not think the country would also do the same, he was straight to state that it was better because he would be with his family.
Makhanya said he worked in Thembisa and was from Siphofaneni. Another couple, who did not want their names published, also stated that they were heading to Pigg’s Peak from South Africa amid the announcement of the lockdown. “We thought it would be better to come home while there was still time,” they said.


Also, there were many emaSwati who had gone to buy mealie-meal on the other side of the border. Some of those interviewed stated that they wanted to ensure they had enough food for the duration of the lockdown. They further mentioned that they bought the mealie meal in SA hence they felt the need of making hay while the sun shined. While at the border, it was noted by this reporter that there were people who were coming with two passports claiming the owner was left in the car, which meant that they were not screened in the process while entering the country.


A clear answer from the health officers as to why the people said to be in cars were not screened did could not be obtained. Meanwhile, borders to Mozambique; Mhlumeni and Lomahasha, are reportedly closed on the Mozambican side. It was gathered that it was only Mozambicans going to their home country and emaSwati coming back home who were allowed to pass through while others were turned back. That included those who were intending to stock items in that country for business purposes.

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