SA deports 421 Zimbabweans - official

2015-04-29 16:46
(Picture: Supplied)

(Picture: Supplied)

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Harare - Hundreds of Zimbabweans have fled xenophobic violence in Durban and Gauteng in the last two weeks, but South Africa has also quietly deported more than 400 who were staying illegally in the country, reports said on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe's consul general, Batiraishe Mukonoweshuro, told the state-controlled Chronicle that 421 Zimbabweans were deported last Thursday from the Lindelani Holding Centre in Johannesburg. They were driven to the Beitbridge border post in five buses.

The Zimbabweans had been at the centre for between three and eight months, even though they were not supposed to be kept there for more than three weeks, Mukonoweshuro said.

The diplomat was quoted as saying: "We have started identifying and documenting our people at Lindelani Holding Centre and have engaged the home affairs department on the need to move them."

Nearly 900 Zimbabweans have been repatriated in a separate operation in the wake of the xenophobic violence that flared in Durban and Johannesburg this month. One Zimbabwean has been confirmed killed in the attacks.

Reports suggest a number of Zimbabweans may be making their own way back. South Africa is home to at least one million - some estimates say two million - Zimbabweans. Some of them fled Zimbabwe during the economic and political crisis years of 2000/8.

The issue of xenophobic violence is likely to come up at a SADC summit on industrialisation currently under way in the Zimbabwean capital Harare.

President Robert Mugabe said earlier this month that he was shocked and disgusted by the attacks.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabawe  |  xenophobia  |  southern africa

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