The Lebombo border post to Mozambique in Mpumalanga has been closed until further notice after a mob threw stones at South African trucks just east of the Ressano Garcia border post.
A volatile crowd of about 200 Mozambicans reportedly closed off the N4 about 4km from the border post, where a truck stop is situated. All vehicles have also been stopped from crossing the border into Mozambique for their own safety, Corridor Gazette reported.
It is alleged the incident is a reaction to the xenophobic attacks that have erupted in various areas of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng this week.
However, Constable Laurence Ntuli of the Lebombo Border Post said border officials were allowing vehicles to go through. He said all the South African vehicles were being turned back at Ressano Garcia and returning to South Africa through Lebombo.
Mie Bergman, a Swedish national living in Maputo, reportedly witnessed acts of violence against South African-registered trucks this morning. She was travelling from Maputo to Nelspruit and approached Ressano Garcia at 9.30am.
“There was a huge crowd of people with big sticks and stones. They were throwing rocks at SA-registered trucks. The crowd let us pass because we had a Mozambican-registered car,” she said.
Another eyewitness, Stephen Nicholson, attempted to cross the border from South Africa to Mozambique this morning, but was stopped and told by an official he would not be allowed to cross because “they will kill you”.
Nicholson said the officials claimed the violent protests across the border were in fact linked to the xenophobic violence in South Africa.