Wednesday, February 21, 2007

South Africa has deported 1,600 Zimbabweans


The South African home affairs department this week deported 1 600 Zimbabweans for breaching the country's immigration laws, Harare's Herald Online reported on Wednesday.

The locals were repatriated by road in 16 luxury buses through the Beitbridge border post.

Young men made up the majority of the deportees, with a few women also in the group.

The deportees were kept at Lindela detention centre in Johannesburg for several weeks.

Some did not have passports and visas, while some had overstayed.

The buses arrived at around 06:00 on Tuesday, escorted by two South African home affairs vans to ensure the deportees did not return.

Business at the border post was disrupted as customs officials and travellers jostled to have a glimpse of the long chain of buses.

The deportees were later handed over to Zimbabwean police and a migration support centre where they were counselled on safe migration before being provided with food and transport to their respective homes.

It is not clear why South Africa chose to use road transport all the way from Johannesburg instead of the traditional rail transport where deportees are left at Mussina for transportation in police trucks.

South Africa deports 1600 Zimbabweans in one day


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