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MBABANE - Foreign nationals who entered the country through the border gates were given only 24 hours to sort themselves out and leave the kingdom.
This was evident yesterday at the Ngwenya Border Gate.

Foreign nationals, who consisted mostly of South Africans, were allowed to enter the country for only 24 hours, sort out their business and make their way back to their native country.
Normally, if one spends a day extra from the given ones, their passports are revoked for two years and if it’s more than 30 days, the blacklisting escalates to five years.

Some of them were spotted on the Eswatini side of the border frustrated on how they would go back to SA.


Some of them said they were planning to cross the border back to South Africa and then find informal crossing areas to re-enter the kingdom so that they could spend as much time as they wanted in Eswatini.
It was noted that some of them were emaSwati who owned SA passports.

They cited visiting relatives as their reason to enter the country, however, they were still given one day.
Worth noting, however, is that the lockdown in South Africa became effective at midnight which means they were not going to make it back to SA.
 Some of those interviewed stated that they were fleeing from the full lockdown in South Africa and felt the one announced in the kingdom was more accommodative.

While at the screening point at the border, details of where they were headed, particularly foreign nations to and their cellphone numbers were taken.
This was said to be part of the precautions to keep tabs on their whereabouts and where they were going to. 

Meanwhile, the Royal Eswatini Police Service flooded the Ngwenya Border Gate to assist people who were entering in the country to do so smoothly.
They were seen calling upon the travellers to maintain a one metre distance between themselves while standing in a queue to the Immigration officers to stamp their passports.

Also, some were assisting the people to sanitise before they proceeded to screening and to stamp their passports on the Eswatini side of the border.
When called for comment, Acting Chief Immigration Officer Makhosi Simelane said it was the same situation with emaSwati who were travelling to SA in that they were also given 24 hours.

He stated, however, that those who were given a day in the country were going to be assisted at the Immigration Offices in the Ministry of Home Affairs.
He said there was no new regulation that was directed to them for the duration of the lockdown hence they were going to assist those who needed additional days in the country as they did on normal basis.

He further mentioned that they were aware that some of the SA passport holders were emaSwati and had homes in the kingdom.
“They should come to the Immigration office to be assisted with additional days,” he said.

Simelane said he was not aware if the same services were availed by their SA counterparts in as far as giving extra days was concerned.

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