SIU’s Special Tribunal to hear arguments regarding controversial Beitbridge border fence

The Special Investigating Unit’s Special Tribunal will next Friday hear arguments regarding the contract relating to the controversial fence at the Beitbridge border between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The unit wants the tribunal to freeze the R21.8 million contract in which the Public Works Department has paid two contractors to erect the 40-kilometre fence.

It also wants the judge to restrain the department from making any further payments in the project. All the parties to the dispute appeared before the tribunal in Johannesburg earlier on Thursday.

Tribunal Judge Lebogang Modiba set out the process until the next hearing.

“The SIU is granted leave to supplement its founding affidavits or to file an explanatory affidavit by Monday the 12th of October. The 3rd to 5th respondents, should they so wish, will file their answering affidavits by the same date; that is the 12th of October. By 14th October, the current opposing respondents will supplement their urgent affidavits.”

On Tuesday, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said they would deploy drones along parts of the Beitbridge border post to help fight the illegal entry of people into South Africa. This will be done in addition to regular patrols by soldiers.

She was responding to questions from members of the  Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) regarding the much-criticised new fence along the border with Zimbabwe.

The fence has proven no hindrance to people entering the country illegally.