SAHRC: Home affairs violates foreigners' rights

2012-11-03 17:30
Johannesburg - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Saturday accused the department of home affairs of violating the rights of foreigners at the Lindela Repatriation Centre in the West Rand.

Spokesperson for SAHRC, Isaac Mangena, said the commission, alongside People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty (Passop) and 39 immigrants launched an urgent court application with a high court on Saturday "to put an end to the violations".

"[They] are detaining them for longer than the prescribed 120 day period allowed in terms of the Immigration Act," said Mangena.

"The commission has [also] previously raised concerns about reported physical assaults and attacks on migrants and asylum seekers at the Marabastad offices of the department of home affairs in April this year."

The commission claimed it had been trying to resolve the matter since 2009 and said it submitted recommendations to the department.

"The repeated recurrences of similar violations are proof that the department appears unwilling to take corrective measures to attend to the plight of migrants and asylum seekers," said Mangena.

Spokesperson for home affairs, Ronnie Mamoepa, said his department never received any court documents linked to the matter.

"Having checked with the state attorneys, legal section and the office responsible for Lindela, we can confirm that we have not received any summons.

"We will be able to respond comprehensively in a court of law as soon as we are served with documents," he said.

Read more on:    passop  |  sahrc  |  home affairs  |  ronnie mamoepa  |  johannesburg
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