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Photo of Mozambique in 2019, not Zimbabwe-South Africa border in 2021 

A photo is circulating on Facebook with the claim it shows “illegal immigrants” being arrested at the Beitbridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe in January 2021. 

In the photo, people appear to be running away from a just-landed military helicopter. 

“South Africa has started cracking down on illegal immigrants returning from [Zimbabwe]”, the photo’s caption reads. “Several people were arrested on Saturday.” 

On 3 January South Africa’s department of home affairs said people were trying to enter the country illegally through the Beitbridge border post, and the department was making hundreds of arrests a day. 

But the photo does not show this. 


Food aid after cyclone

A reverse image search reveals the photo was first shared online in May 2019. 

It shows people who have collected food aid from a South African National Defence Force (SANDF) helicopter, in the aftermath of cyclone Idai in Nhamatanda village, Mozambique, in March 2019. 

While the SANDF has been deployed to monitor the situation along South Africa’s border with Zimbabwe, the photo does not show “illegal immigrants” from Zimbabwe being arrested in January 2021. 

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