Programme News

17 October 2014
(News)
Signatory to the UN refugee convention, and boasting arguably the most progressive Constitution in the world, South Africa is often perceived to be a safe-haven for refugees fleeing conflict and persecution in their own countries. This is a misperception. A 2012 report by the African Centre for Migration and Society found that South Africa consistently failed to meet its legal obligations to...
14 October 2014
(News)
  When tougher new immigration rules were first announced by the South African government earlier this year they sparked panic and uncertainty among many Zimbabwean expats living and working in the country. Some feared losing their jobs, others believed that it was nothing more than a ploy to force them out. “It’s like they’re chasing us out, they’re killing us,...
10 October 2014
(News)
  The M&G went undercover at the Lindela Repatriation Centre for illegal immigrants to see if some of the detainees would share their grievances. On the wall at the entrance bold letters proclaim: “Lindela Repatriation Centre” and “Bosasa Operation”. I walk through the gate into the sheltered open space. Inside, there is a canteen, which doubles as a spaza shop...
10 October 2014
(News)
After nearly two decades of criticism, flouted laws and disturbing reports, there seems to be a promise of change at the infamous Lindela Repatriation Centre. In September the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) stepped in and said it required a long list of specific actions by the department of home affairs – the department responsible for the deportation of illegal immigrants...
10 October 2014
(News)
A group of 25 Nigerians ended their two-week hunger strike at the Lindela Repatriation Centre after a brutal attack on them allegedly by security guards who were apparently trying to force them to eat. The guards work for Bosasa Operations, the company charged with running the centre. Five members of the group claimed that 10 guards shot at them with rubber bullets and beat them with batons. As...
7 October 2014
(News)
Somali and Ethiopian asylum seekers and refugees have scored a longed-for victory against official xenophobia – the Supreme Court of Appeal has thrown out key elements of ‘Operation Hardstick’.   This is a police programme in terms of which, among other strategies, Somali and Ethiopian businesses in Limpopo were shut down regardless of whether or not they had valid licences...
2 October 2014
(Press release)
  On August 13, 2014, Mr. Edwin Samotse, a Botswana national, was unlawfully deported from South Africa to Botswana, where he runs the risk of being sentenced to death and executed. While South Africa’s conduct has been declared unlawful, FIDH – a member of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty – LHR and DITSHWANELO call upon the authorities of Botswana to guarantee...
30 September 2014
(News)
There is no law to prevent refugees and asylum seekers from getting licences to operate spaza shops in SA, the Supreme Court of Appeal said on Friday. The proliferation of immigrant-run spaza shops in townships across the country has led to tension with local traders, some of whom have argued that only South African citizens should be entitled to licences. While they appeared to have support from...
25 September 2014
(Press release)
Civil Society Organisations respond to the SAHRC Investigation into alleged human rights infringements and reduced access to health care at the Lindela Repatriation Centre and demand that the South African Government act on the recommendations to hold those responsible for implementation to account. On 18 September 2014, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) released a report...
23 September 2014
(News)
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba must ensure his staff knows the law applying to immigrants and deportations, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled on Tuesday.   Judge Eberhard Bertelsmann referred Gigaba to a previous Constitutional Court ruling involving the deportations of two Botswana nationals. The court had found it was unlawful for the department to deport or surrender a...