Over 7000 Zimbabweans Deported From South Africa
Johannesburg, June 05, 2012- Over 7 000 Zimbabweans were deported from South
Africa between January and March this year, according to a joint report by
the Solidarity Peace Trust (SPT) and People Against Suffering Oppression and
The report dubbed 'perils and pitfalls’ indicates that “between October and
December 2011 the Beitbridge border handled 7 755 deportees, while an
additional 7 177 Zimbabweans were deported between January and March 2012”.
The two organisations called on the South African government to halt the
militarisation of immigration raids at a meeting on Tuesday.
Commenting on the legislative regime governing immigration, Bram Henekom,
from Passop warned that “the policies being promoted by the government will
ultimately see Africans fighting fellow Africans like what was experienced
The recommendations come a few months after the South African government
instituted a bill that will see illegal immigrants being imprisoned for up
to four years.
Professor Brian Raftopolous, who also addressed the meeting lamented that
“people are being deported without proper procedures” asking for the “rule
of law to prevail”.
South Africa’s uniformed forces have in the past been accused of abusing
illegal immigrants at the port of entries and seeking bribes as to allow
them entry into the country.
The two leading civic groups also added that “better training on immigration
law for South African Police Service and the South Africa National Defense
Forces (SANDF) from immigration control is necessary in order to
demilitarise immigration raids”.
The joint SPT, Passop report states that it is costly to the Pretoria
administration to continue deporting foreigners considering that “between
2009 and 2010, immigration control bill was as high as 1.8 billion rands”.
Some of the reports within the Department of Home Affairs indicate that the
government is hastily planning to move all refugee reception offices near
Raftopolous said there was need for international consensus on resolving
Harare political quagmires.
“The political mediation should lead to normalisation of situation in
Zimbabwe as deportation is not the solution”, added Raftopolous.