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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

South Africa: illegal detention of migrants

from SABC News:

Foreigners are regularly detained at the Lindela Detention Centre outside Krugersdorp for longer than the permitted 30 days, the SA Human Rights Commission hearings on xenophobia heard today. Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh of Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) said non-compliance with the Immigration Act seemed to be the norm at the centre, run by a private company on behalf of the department of home affairs.
At the Beit Bridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe, people were regularly detained for between one hour and three days under a tree surrounded by a fence. Men, women and children were held together and there were no toilet facilities.
These people were held in windowless offices with no furniture, water or toilets. She lauded a recent Pretoria High Court ruling that in future children must be treated under the Child Care Act with access to all the relevant services, whether they were South African or not. Previously, children were treated as adults and deported.

She said the government has all the necessary legislation in place, but is not living up to its own laws.

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