KwaZulu-Natal residents living along the South Africa and Mozambique border are calling on government to close the informal border between these countries.  They say gate six in KwaPhuza outside Manguzi in northern KwaZulu-Natal is a crime den. They allege that illegal goods are entering the country through this gate.

Resident wants answers after a 13-year-old Lwazi Andile Tembe was reported missing on Monday.  His family believes that he was lured on WhatsApp allegedly by a former teacher to visit him.

But the said teacher is denying that she interacted with the teen.

The family received a message from Lwazi’s phone demanding a ransom.  Since then his phone is off, and they believed that he might have been taken out of the country through gate six.

Family relative,  Nelisiwe Thusi says their suspicions stem from the fact that the border is unsafe.

“The Umhlabuyalingana area is well known in the killing of people for muti purposes and their body parts are taken out.  We think they might have sold him out of the country because the border is not secured.”

The area is notorious for muti killings and cross border crimes including stolen cars crossing to Mozambique.

The Gate six border is used for informal trade between residents of South Africa and Mozambique on Wednesdays and Saturdays. People moving in and out of this gate do not need any documentation.

About R50 million has been set aside to build a barrier to reinforce security at the border in Umhlabuyalingana.

The Umhlabuyalingana Society Against Crime is totally against the planned upgrade.

The Society’s Judas Mthehwa says, “ We are totally against that government is going to upgrade gate six and we are saying to government they must come to the main gate because a lot of criminals are there and those do not have passports. They come over there to enter into the country. Currently, we are busy searching for the missing child and we believe he is outside the country. A lot of drugs are coming through that gate.”

The government is pushing for upgrading this gate, despite the community objection.

Deputy minister in the Presidency Thembi Siweya says government should tighten immigration laws, “The only challenge with this is that on the South African part there are no records or monitoring. And Sars  does not collect revenue. We need to tighten laws to ensure that whoever is using this point of entry is documented or legal,” says Siweya.

Police confirmed that they are investigating a case of kidnapping.