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The authorities in South Africa reportedly stopped over 40 buses carrying 443 children, who were allegedly being trafficked into the country through the Beitbridge Border Post.

During a press briefing on Sunday, Border Management Authority (BMA) Commissioner Dr. Michael Masiapato said the joint sting operation -- comprising BMA, Home Affairs and the South African Police Service -- stopped and searched about 42 buses that were trying to enter the country from Zimbabwe.

The buses were carrying about 443 children under the age of eight without their parents or any guardians.

"Fairly, they were being trafficked into South Africa," Masiapato said, SA News reported. "We were able to take them out of those buses. We were then able to engage with the Zimbabwean officials and we handed them back to Zimbabwe for processing back into the country."

The exact date of the rescue operation was not revealed.

Aside from this, he also praised the BMA officials for protecting South African borders on different occasions. He recalled that BMA has successfully stopped more than 44,000 thousand people from illegally trying to enter the country.

The commissioner shared those people were arrested, fingerprinted, declared undesirable and deported to their respective countries on the spot.

"Further, about 100,452 individuals overstayed in the country. We got the hit from our movement control system when they arrived at the ports. We then declared them undesirable, and we banned them from entering South Africa for the next five years," he added.

"About 98,150 individuals were refused entry into the country for various reasons. Some of them were criminal elements who are listed on the Interpol list for having committed different types of crimes in other jurisdictions in the world."

Moreover, Masiapato noted how BMA arrested more than 2,200 people for various criminal activities near entry ports.

The security agency also detected about 279 high-value stolen vehicles, while the criminals were trying to export them from the South African border.

"This is a summary of some of the key success of the [BMA] having been realized in a short space of time. We however commit to do more and fully address the country's perennial problem of porous borders," the BMA commissioner concluded.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa met with Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa in October to ensure that the Beitbridge border post in Musina, Limpopo, works properly.

According to Ramaphosa, this approach will ensure that land border crossings get improved efficiency by combining the stops required for processing exit and entry formalities.