Home affairs denies refugee 'riot'

2012-06-05 16:14

Johannesburg - There was no riot at the Lindela Repatriation Centre outside Krugersdorp, the department of home affairs said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa denied there was a riot at the centre on Monday as reported by some media on Tuesday.

"Our reports are contrary to that. Our understanding is that inmates were trying to force early release from the centre."

He denied reports that there were violent confrontations between guards and inmates at the centre.

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

"There is a trend developing where inmates refuse to supply details of their nationalities, which leads to delays because we cannot contact their embassies," Mamoepa said.

The department was powerless to deport inmates or process their applications without consulting the relevant embassy.

This put the department in a "difficult position" because inmates were sometimes kept longer than 120 days because of the lack of co-operation, he said.

The Times reported on Tuesday that inmates of the West Rand refugee centre staged a protest that turned violent when guards fired rubber bullets and teargas.

Three months

The reason given for the alleged riot was that the department held them for periods longer than the permitted 120 days.

A Lindela inmate, who asked not to be named, said he had signed a document for his release on Thursday after being detained for more than three months.

"Instead of being released together with other inmates, we were taken to different police stations where we spent the night."

They were then returned to the repatriation centre.

Home affairs spokeswoman Manusha Pillai denied there was a riot on Monday.

"Some of the deportees, however, allegedly attempted to incite others to riot against the department's mandate to deport foreign nationals, in breach of South Africa's immigration law," she told the newspaper.

  • Peter-Peter - 2012-06-05 16:30

    Keep in mind...a few years ago, it would have been called a 'riot', but today, its just the norm

      Kala - 2012-06-05 16:57

      And a few years ago they would have been called illegal immegrants.

      jacovantonder - 2012-06-05 17:09

      Haha. I can already see the people rioting outside the door, with the dear department on the other side of the door going: "Riot? What riot?" Sound vaguely familiar? :P

      omonaija - 2012-06-07 18:30

      Here we go again with all the lies by White South fricans in general.The taxpayer this ,the tax payer that.Please stop all the lies it is sickening.Now let me educate you about what foreigners go through in this country.First of all you need to understand that most foreigners who come to South Africa do not intend to to stay in SA. I came to SA by chance,in fact i got scammed to come to SA and only remained here because i did not want to go back home a loser.If you had told me that i will end up in SA 12 years ago ,i would have laughed at the idea.From a young age the only image of SA i had was that of white folks beating the crap out of black folks.SA was never on my agenda but like they say things don't always work out the way you planned. Since i got to SA,i hit the ground running,i never depended on handouts and i NEVER benefitted a cent from taxpayers.Everything i own ,my house ,cars,business i paid cash for.Most of my friends who are non south African also worked their behind off to get to where they are today.This is why is i get upset when people come here and whine about tax.80% of the foreigners in SA do not benefit anything from Taxpayers,do your research and stop making ignorant comments.

      omonaija - 2012-06-07 18:55

      One of the reason why i dislike the DA is because of the comment their representative Dianne Kohler-Barnard made in 2008 in parliment on TV during the xenophobic attack.While innocent Africans were being murdered in cold blood,this ignorant heartless racist woman went on Tv to say that : "These people come into this country and eat our food and sleep in our homes". Now the questions i have for the ignorant DA is that : When foreigners goes into spar ,pick& pay, shoprite to shop for groceries do the taxpayers for them or they pay for themselves? When foreigners rent an apartment do the taxpayers pay the rent for them or they pay for themselves? When foreigners buy their cars cash do the taxpayers for it or they pay for themselves? When foreigners pay their employees,do the taxpayers their slaries or they pay for themselves? When foreigners' electricity & water bill are due does the taxpayers pay for it or they pay for themselves? if e-toll is re-established,will the taxpayers pay for foreigners tags or they will pay for themselves? So please tell me how exactly you taxpayers pay for the upkeep of foreigners? I really need to know! FYI many foreigners have become tax payers themselves in this country. SARS does not discriminate against foreigners' monies. They collect their due from all foreigners running a business not to mention the vat each foreigner pays when they shop at different stores nationwide. There is no free lunch in SA,foreigners pay dues!

  • Tax - 2012-06-05 16:42

    Why are they streaming into our country? Blacks keep telling us how the colonialists messed up SA. I thought the rest of Africa would be paradise..

      Vlad - 2012-06-06 07:32

      If they will stop BLAMING-they have to get up and start doing something(working,creating,developing.e.t.c) to improve lives of brothers and sisters)))),,,,it is so difficult....So blaming is a lifestyle!

  • WitWolf - 2012-06-05 16:54

    Clearly goes to show how poor the border protection is. Where is the money coming from to feed these people.? TAX money I suppose. They jump the borders and think there is a better life in S.A. But then realize it's not and then turn themselves to violent crime. Killing and raping South Africans. I'm no xenophobe but But by sending people back to their own countries there is much more hope for South Africans.

  • mmampho - 2012-06-05 17:05

    Ohh, no not again!! I'm so sick and tired of hearing stories about illegal immigrants and refugees. Nothing will be done, im sure if we put our Mam'Zille into power. There will be more control in our Borders.

  • mmampho - 2012-06-05 17:05

    Ohh, no not again!! I'm so sick and tired of hearing stories about illegal immigrants and refugees. Nothing will be done, im sure if we put our Mam'Zille into power. There will be more control in our Borders.

  • mmampho - 2012-06-05 17:05

    Ohh, no not again!! I'm so sick and tired of hearing stories about illegal immigrants and refugees. Nothing will be done, im sure if we put our Mam'Zille into power. There will be more control in our Borders.

  • jacovantonder - 2012-06-05 17:11

    You see, these immigrants probably saw a youtubed copy of the latest Nando's ad. :D

      Charnelle - 2012-06-05 17:32

      Yip, agree with you on that.

  • Michael - 2012-06-05 17:22

    Riot cause all the south african thugs calling themselves civil servants Waannt Maaannnieeee for passport you mkwirikwiri....The most racist people in this country work for home affairs...but they dont understand their lack to do anything is resulting in more refugee.

      Vlad - 2012-06-06 07:38 true,,,I can sign under every each of your word.SO TRUE!!!

  • Andrew - 2012-06-05 18:39

    This is a big issue in this country. South Africans earn aliving off bring foreigners in and then xenophobia starts up. When I look at people living in poverty I kinda understand their frustration. We have 25% unemployment which means about 6 million people are without jobs. Know one knows the figures of how many foreigners are here but I'll thumb suck. If there's 3 million foreigners here with jobs and they go home to work. Then our unemployment is down to 12.5 %. I haven't researched these figures so please excuse me if I'm wrong

  • Andrew - 2012-06-05 18:40

    Government should have stepped in years ago to prevent zim flopping. However, now it's time to think about re-building zim to create jobs there. Same goes with all our neighboring countries.

  • keith.ngobeni - 2012-06-05 18:50

    South africa is not a safe heaven of the African illegals/criminals, most of these illegal immigrants are wanted criminals in their birth countries.

      Andrew - 2012-06-05 19:18

      That's true Fannie. I've met alot of foreign bodies that have created companies and are employing south Africans. Some of there stories can really be learnt from. It's a pity those opertunities weren't there for them in their countries. Hopefully the future will bring this to the whole of our continent. We could be the top continent in the world

      Gauteng.Steve - 2012-06-05 20:58

      I share in your opinion andrew and fannie. Plz there is no need to send wrong message to people about immigrants,travel to other countries you will find south africans too. Plz lets be civilised in our view.

  • jones.ngoetjana - 2012-06-05 23:02

    Every country has got foreigners , but South Africa cannot accommodate the whole Africa , since most of the illegal immigrants are from Africa. As we speak , unemployment level is estimated at around 25 percent. If everyone is allowed entry or if they manage to get in illegally , we will see more of the xenophobic attacks. The home affairs must tighten their laws. It will be appreciated if they allow skilled and scarce professionals like doctors , pharmacists, maths and science teachers , not just unskilled poor people who are going to be a burden to an already impoverished country.

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