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SA clamps down on child trafficking

In a bid to clamp down on child trafficking, Zimbabweans have to show children’s birth certificates.

Zimbabwean shoppers return to their home town Beitbridge after Christmas shopping in South African border town of Musina. Picture: AFP

ZIMBABWE - Zimbabweans trying to enter South Africa are reporting hours of delay as South African border officials at Beitbridge demand to see not just passports but birth certificates for their children.

The measures are understood to be part of a drive to clamp down on child trafficking but parents said they weren't warned.

But parents travelling with just two or three children said they are being unfairly targeted.

This has been a shock to several Zimbabwean families this week.

Parents travelling with their own children are finding they're being blocked at the South African side at Beitbridge by officials demanding to see birth certificates for the children, to prove they really are theirs.

One family had to get friends back in Harare to locate the birth certificates and scan copies of them to the border post, causing a five hour delay.

Another Zimbabwean family, this time with three children reported also being blocked at Beitbridge before discovering they had copies of the certificates on a computer they were travelling with.

Parents said that in many cases it was obvious they were with their own children.

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