About 23 foreign nationals and two South Africans are expected to appear before the Mankweng Magistrate's Court today for contravention of the Immigration Act and bribery.
This after the South African Police Service arrested them on Saturday in Solomondale near Polokwane.
It is reported that members of the SAPS Limpopo Provincial Tracking Team, in conjunction with two private security companies, SPS High Risk and Tshimollo Security, operationalised information gathered regarding a white Toyota Quantum that was driving along the R81 in Solomondale, from the Beitbridge border.
It is reported that the operational team successfully spotted the said Quantum at a filling station along the R81 road in Sebayeng and upon checking, they discovered that 23 Ethiopian male nationals, aged between 20 and 38 years, were ferried in a 15-seater passenger mini bus by the driver, a 44-year-old male South African citizen.
Preliminary investigations revealed that all the passengers in the Quantum were illegally smuggled into South Africa from Ethiopia through Zimbabwe.
It is reported that while in the process of searching the Quantum and the passengers, a white Toyota Fortuner, being driven by a male foreign national, pulled up at the scene.
It is reported that the driver of the Quantum was found in possession of a licensed firearm and it was confiscated for investigation purposes.
Meanwhile, the driver of the Fortuner reportedly tried to bribe the police with R5 000 to let the Quantum and the passengers go free. The man was charged with bribery.
The two drivers were also arrested and are facing charges of human trafficking, bribery and contravention of Immigration Act.
The Acting Limpopo Commissioner, Major General Jan Scheepers, hailed the involved teams for their commitment and alertness in ridding the province of criminality. – SAnews.gov.za