SAHRC probing abuse of refugees

2012-06-07 16:43
Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. (File, Sapa)

Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. (File, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The department of home affairs must come up with urgent and meaningful measures to put an end to the ill treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, the SA Human Rights Commission said on Thursday.

The recommendations come after the SAHRC launched another investigation into reports of an alleged protest which was staged by refugees at the Lindela Repatriation Centre on Monday. It was reported that the refugees were protesting against an unlawful practice by the department which had allowed them to be held captive for longer periods. However, the department had denied allegations that there was a riot.

According to the Immigration Act, the department cannot detain refugees for more than 120 days.

SAHRC spokesperson Vincent Moaga said the commission has decided to launch an investigation to the allegations after the findings of a monitoring team the SAHRC have summoned to the facility on Tuesday.

"Our team was presented with contradictory statements after it had engaged in discussions with the manager of the facility and asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"These findings are currently under examination," he said. Moaga confirmed that the commission was also investigating an earlier complaint relating to alleged appalling conditions and treatment of refugees and asylum seekers at the facility from a consortium of eight NGOs, who worked closely with refugees and asylum seekers.

"The rights of non-nationals are specifically protected in national law and in international human rights agreements. This group is particularly vulnerable and the state is obliged to take appropriate steps to ensure the basic rights this group are adequately protected.

"The history of reported abuses and ongoing complaints demands that the commission take the necessary steps to ensure that the rights of this group are not violated with impunity," said Moaga.

He added that these violations were of grave concern as it appeared to be becoming endemic and systemic.

Prior to the incident that occurred at the Lindela Centre on Monday, the commission raised concerns about reported physical assaults and attacks on migrants and asylum seekers at the Marabastad offices of the home affairs department in April this year.

These concerns and the commission's own recommendations in its 2009 report on the rights of non-nationals have been brought to the attention of the department again.

"It is extremely disconcerting that the department has not yet responded to the recommendations of the commission contained in the 2009 Report.

"The situation is exacerbated by the repeated occurrences of similar violations. There appears to be no adequate and tangible corrective measures being taken by the department to ameliorate the plight of migrants and asylum seekers," said Moaga.

Home affairs spokesperson Manusha Pillai and spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa were unavailable for comment.

Read more on:    sahrc  |  home affairs  |  vincent moaga  |  human rights

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.