SANDF raids case stands down for possible settlement

2015-05-12 13:32
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Illegal immigrants arrested

Over 160 people have been detained during raids in the Durban CBD. Hundreds of illegal immigrants were arrested, and quantities of heroin and weapons were seized. View the pictures here.

Johannesburg - Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) asked that its urgent application relating to securing access to a group of people arrested during police and SA National Defence Force raids in Johannesburg be stood down on Tuesday for a possible settlement.

The case was stood down until 11:30 after a request by LHR advocate Julie Harwood in the High Court in Johannesburg.

The possible settlement relates to a contempt of court order it had also wanted because police were allegedly not abiding by a court order made on Friday night allowed LHR access to those detained.

Tuesday's application was for full access to those arrested during the raids, a comprehensive list of everyone arrested and where they are being held, and an immediate halt to any deportations for two weeks, or until LHR had been allowed to consult with them.

Those arrested were being detained at the Johannesburg Central Police Station, the Lindela Repatriation Centre and a shelter for women with children.

LHR said it had already been granted an urgent order on Friday night after being denied access to those detained, but were still denied access over the weekend.

The respondents are the minister and director-general of the department of home affairs, Leading Prospects Trading, which operates the Lindela detention centre which houses people until they are either cleared or deported and where most of those arrested are detained, the minister of police and the commander of Johannesburg Central police station, a Colonel Spiers.

The raids come weeks after a spate of xenophobic attacks in Johannesburg and Durban which left at least eight people dead. Police have conducted a series of raids, saying these are to flush out criminals, but there have been complaints that foreign nationals are being unfairly targeted.

LHR had wanted the court to: 

- interdict home affairs from deporting any of the people arrested on May 8 for two weeks or until they have consulted with the detainees on their legal status in South Africa and established the lawfulness of their deportation in terms of the Immigration Act of 2002;

- That a list of the names, reason for detention and current location of every person who was detained on May 8 is provided to the registrar of the court by noon on Wednesday;

- That they be allowed to consult with seven of those detained without 48 hours' notice, wherever they are. They were named as: Alex Chilambo, Sydney Tshuma, Givemore Moyo, Nyamayavo Masakadze, Munyaradzi Mafori, Viscount Zvodziwa and Beauty Jackie. They were the only people whose names they managed to obtain.

- That the respondents pay the costs of the application;

The application was brought in terms of Section 38 of the Constitution.

After the case was stood down, the parties entered one of the court's consultation rooms.

Read more on:    police  |  home affairs  |  sandf  |  johannesburg  |  xenophobia

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