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'Mass deportation' of illegal immigrants from South Africa opposed

by Staff reporter
04 Sep 2023 at 15:52hrs | Views
The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) has launched an urgent application against Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and his department in the High Court to stop the "mass deportation" of illegal immigrants in the country.

The move follows the stance pronounced last month by Motsoaledi that officials would be conducting extensive law-enforcement operations to deport individuals living in the country without proper documentation.

In a message on the department's official social media account early last month, Motsoaledi asserted his firm position on illegal immigrants as he tweeted: "We don't make noise when we conduct law enforcement operations. We move in and deport people.

"We'll be going to many other communities and deporting those who are here illegally," the message read.

The announcement comes less than three months after a full Bench of the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, ruled on June 28 that the decision to terminate the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) was invalid, unlawful and unconstitutional.

The application heard in April was brought by the HSF and the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa, challenging Motsoaledi's December 2021 decision not to renew the ZEP.

The decision not to renew the ZEP meant that permit holders who did not apply for an exemption or were not granted an exemption would have to return to Zimbabwe after calling South Africa home for more than a decade.

In the recent court application sought for September 18, the foundation, along with the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa, are pleading for an "interim enforcement" order from the High Court to curb the latest attempts to deport illegal immigrants.

In spite of the organisations' attempts to halt the mass deportation of illegal immigrants, their recent court challenge has been criticised by some members of the public, especially following the fire at a hijacked building in Joburg that saw 77 people die and the negative impact of illegal zama zama operations.

"Nicole Fritz cannot win every case, using the money allocated to her as an NPO. HomeAffairsSA now has solid proof regarding the negative effects of illegal immigration. They must use the #JHBFire and #zamazama humanitarian catastrophes as reliable points of comparison. Moreover, why does the state use our tax money to support the Helen Suzman Foundation? These NPOs ought to be permanently outlawed," wrote user Lolo Taunyane.

"Has Ms Fritz or any office-bearer of the foundation offered to personally support or take in any illegal immigrants into their personal homes and estates? I'll park here and wait," added user Brett Ben Raphael.

Meanwhile, in what appears to be a human trafficking syndicate operating in Ekurhuleni, Motsoaledi, confirmed on Friday that the department had intercepted a home in Primrose where more than 100 undocumented immigrants were found.

These immigrants were subsequently arrested. It is reported that many of them were Ethiopians, while four were Malawians.

The minister said only four of these people had any form of documentation on them and the owner of the property was also detained at the Primrose police station.

The arrest was part of the department's crackdown on illegal foreigners conducted with other spheres of government, including the SAPS.

Source - The Star
More on: #Deport, #Opposed