Passport headache  for Basotho

Passport headache for Basotho

MASERU-HOME Affairs Minister Motlalentoa Letsosa says Basotho who have been fined and had their passports endorsed for overstaying in South Africa should not apply for new ones.

In the past Basotho who have been barred from entering South Africa have resorted to applying for new passports to try their luck at the border.
Letsosa told a press conference this week that those people should not bother applying for passports this time because the government will not process them.

“We will focus only on (renewing) the expired ones,” Letsosa said.
“We will continue to inspect the applications and give priority to the people who work in other countries, those going to schools and hospitals”
Ironically, it is the minister who urged Basotho to use official borders even if they had overstayed in South Africa.
He assured Basotho that they would not be penalised even if they overstayed or crossed illegally into South Africa.

Many of those who heeded his call are now regretting after they were fined and we banned from visiting South Africa.
Letsosa said the ministry has about 5 000 uncollected passports.
Letsosa said people who do not need travel documents urgently should not apply for them and give chances to those in dire need.

For people who have lost their passports Letsosa said they will pay M300 plus M130 making it M430 according to the 2019 regulations.
Those who want urgent passports will have to pay M630 as the ministry will incur costs in processing them quickly.

He encouraged Basotho to cross through the designated entry points.
He said if all goes well the ministry will be able to produce passports for all Basotho who will need to leave the country in early 2021.
Meanwhile, Letsosa complained about the chaos at the Maseru border where he said “bizarre things are happening”.
“There is a big problem at Maseru border and we are not happy with that.”

Nkheli Liphoto

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