Cabinet’s Zim decision ‘is death sentence’

2010-09-02 13:12

Cabinet’s decision to resume deportation of Zimbabweans is tantamount to a death sentence, the People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty (Passop) has said.

It was responding to the announcement by a government spokesperson that the special dispensation for Zimbabwean nationals introduced in April last year would be terminated at the end of this year.

Passop said in a statement that it hoped to meet with the department of home affairs to discuss its unhappiness with the plan and to ensure that the rights of Zimbabweans were protected.

“Failing which, we shall consider what actions could be taken in resistance to the return of the draconian tactics of deportation,” it said.

“This (move) amounts to the refusal of South Africa to provide survival to vulnerable groups, essentially a death sentence.”

Passop said its initial understanding of the moratorium had been that it was an interim solution while the government provided Zimbabwean nationals with a special exemption under the Immigration Act.

Passop explained: “It has been proven that deportation does not work, as the (government) previously deported in excess of 140 000 people a year at a huge expense.”

“We disagree with the belief that a sustainable solution has been met in Zimbabwe. We do not believe that the humanitarian crisis has been resolved,” it added.

Earlier today, government spokesperson Themba Maseko said Cabinet had approved a proposal to end the special dispensation for Zimbabwean nationals.

This followed a bilateral agreement between the South African and Zimbabwean ministers of home affairs, he told a media briefing.

The special dispensation would end on December 31, and all Zimbabweans who had not had their presence in South Africa formalised by then would be deported, Maseko said.

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