Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Five South African armed police officers were yesterday arrested and detained at Beitbridge Border Post after straying into Zimbabwe.
They were also found taking pictures of themselves near informal sector clearing point commonly known as Kugomba.
The suspects — all of them women — were picked up by alert police officers who were on patrol at the border post.
It is understood that the police details who are all based in Pretoria but recently deployed to Musina, entered the border post on foot.
Indications are that even the police officers on the South African side were not aware of the five’s presence at the border since they had been deployed in Musina, about 12 kilometres away.
“They arrived at around 4pm and started taking pictures around the border before they were picked by alert police officers,” said a source on the Zimbabwean side.
“They were then detained at the police border post inside the border post.”
When The Herald news crew arrived at the border post at around 6pm, the five were still detained and undergoing interrogation.
A team of senior police officers from both countries was still locked in one of the offices where they were engaging over the issue.
The incident comes a few years after two South African police officers were picked by Zimbabwean soldiers when they shot at a tout they were chasing from their side of the border.
The duo was later released after negotiations from both countries.
In August 2006, eight soldiers from the same country were intercepted by security agents near Tshikwalakwala area 135km east of the border post after straying into Zimbabwe.
The group had reportedly lost track of their colleagues during training along the Limpopo River.
They were later released after it was established that they had wandered into Zimbabwe during a basic training course in the Madimbo area.