MACADAMIA border policehave arrested 39 foreign nationals for entering South Africa illegally.
The group of young male foreigners, most of whom were from Somalia, was arrested yesterday after crossing from Mozambique into Mpumalanga at about 8am.
Police spokesperson Superintendent Malcolm Mokomene said they would be charged under the South African Immigration Act.
Shortly after the police arrested them, the explanation they got from the people was that they had left Somalia over a month ago and gone to Kenya where more foreigners were mobilised.
They said they sometimes hired sail boats to cross lakes, dams and rivers and that they chose South Africa as their destination because they had heard that they could do well in business here.
They sai d there were 41 in the group when they left Kenya but two people died on the way .
They claimed that they were robbed of their belongings and assaulted by criminals in Mozambique before they crossed over to South Africa.
The group said they feared being killed in their home country and that their main aim would be to find themselves in Johannesburg.
The suspects were arrested in the same area where a bogus policeman, in police uniform, was recently arrested while taking bribes from foreigners who crossed illegally into South Africa.