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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: I was harassed at the boarder, car seized.

Friday, 2nd September, 2022

Dear editor, I have experienced oppression at the hands of our current government. 

On the 27th of July I had depart Johannesburg with a car that I had been given by a relative to come to Eswatini with it. 

The car is South African registered with a GP number plate. When I departed South Africa the car started having mechanical problems on the road and I happened to spend a night in Caroline due to mechanical problems. 

Luckily in Caroline I met Good Samaritans that helped me fix it and told me I could drive until my destination I should be fine.

When I got to the boarder gate the South African side they verified the car kutsi is it not stolen or not and also called the owner of the vehicle and all was well. When I got to the immigration officers of eswatini they told me I can’t drive a South African vehicle into eswatini because I am a Swazi citizen, I said what!?? They said I’m not allowed to come into the country with a vehicle from another country if I’m a Swazi citizen, they told me to go back to where I came from or get the owner of the vehicle to come here and pass with the vehicle. I said to them I can’t go back to where I come from because the car had mechanical issues and I have no money for petrol to go back and the owner cannot come here because this is a four hour distance. 

I then asked them and said because I’m now home isn’t there a way you can help me or something I can do to be assistant because I can’t go back or either bring the owner right here right now. They said apparently there’s nothing they can do. I said to them you cannot do that to me and mistreat me as if I don’t belong to this country. If ngya shweleta and I tell you my reasons why I can’t go back surely you are suppose to meet me half way. They denied, so I went back to the car and started the car and I drove to the boom gate and parked there the officers at the boom gate requested for my gate pass and passport I showed them. They said the car is detained because I have not complied. 

I said to them I had no other choice but to drive to the location that directs me to home. You gave me no options but spitted me out even after telling you my reasons why I can’t go back to where I come from. So then they said they are detaining the car now. They shall detain the car and the owner shall come collect it. I was actually relieved when they said that because that’s the kind of solution I had been looking for, but I didn’t even know it existed because they never said anything about it until I started moving the car.  

So I left the car there and the keys there, they took them. I asked one of the officers I had been communicating with Senzo khumalo. I asked since the car is detained don’t you have a document that examples to me lemigomo yaloku detain.wa kwale moto. For an example if I don’t fetch the car in 30 days what should happen or if there are any costs that I should know of. He said don’t worry nothing is needed no costs and no documentation is necessary when the owner comes they will come to us take the key and drive out of the border. I said okay.

While I’m waiting for my relative to be financially fine to come fetch the vehicle, I received an email them saying I need to claim the car otherwise if I don’t do so in 30 days they will seize it. Out of astonishment I’m surprised as that was not the agreement. Well I write the documents that they need I sent to them. They say in those documents I must write a letter ngishwelete about what happened at the border. I write a letter telling them I’m a student, I had slept on the streets, without food and was exhausted the day I drove the car. If they could kindly release the car back to me I would be trilled as the owner is still battling with financial means and responsibilities to come release the car.

They say okay, can I send them the details of the owner, their proof of residence and car registration certificate and proof of address for them to consider releasing the car to me. I send that with hope that they will release the car. They take two weeks to get back to me with the response. Their response says in order for me to prevent the car from being seized by them I need to pay a penalty of R3,371.25.  I don’t know what penalty that is for, they also say I need to pay R8,990.00 in lieu of forfeit and also after that payment re-exportation of the motor vehicle within 48 hours of its release. So I don’t understand how we got here, from them telling me the owner will come fetch the car without issues, to me having to pay R15000 after telling them I’m an employed student who had encountered problems along my way. And the car having to be reexported after paying so much money which I don’t have.

I’m kindly and humbly asking for any good samaritan lawyer that would assist me in this situation or any donations I can get to help me afford a lawyer as this government is using their power to steal from the poor the little means lesitizamela kona. Please help me nkhosi, I have all the documents and emails from them. I have no respond for them anymore, ngicela kutsi basele bakhuluma nemu meli. I have had enough of this government that oppresses us kuko konke lesikwentako beta batosi bhulisha and abuse their power to oppress us. I hope you find my situation worthy to follow editor, as I’m writing this right now I’m under stress and I feel abused and oppressed. I have no voice , please be my voice

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: I was harassed at the boarder, car seized.
Ngwenya boarder.