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Home Affairs deporting refugees part of Cape Town protests

Source: The South African, 06/11/2020

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“The deportation of these foreign nationals follows a successful law enforcement operation which was undertaken by the Department of Home Affairs’ Inspectorate officials, supported by SAPS, the City of Cape Town and the departments of Social Development and Health, at the temporary facility at Paint City in Bellville, Cape Town,” the department said in a statement on Friday, 6 November 2020.
The refugees had told government they either want to be allowed to go home or another country on the continent, as they had had enough of being on the receiving end of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
The demonstrations quickly turned ugly and they ended up spending months on Greenmarket Square and occupying the Central Methodist Church until April 2020. Government then opted to move the refugees to a number of shelters and camps, after the country went under lockdown and measures had to be put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The deportation of the 20 foreign nationals followed due process and was confirmed by the court on 02 and 03 November 2020 in terms of the immigration laws of the country. The affected foreign nationals have already been transferred to Lindela Repatriation Centre for deportation purposes,”
The Department of Home Affairs
Refugees not seeking integration into local communities
At least 12 other foreign nationals had been set to reappear in court on Friday, 6 November 2020, in a case in which they have rejected the option of integration into local communities and instead want the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to relocate them to a third country, preferably Canada.
The Home Affairs department and its asylum structures have embarked on a project to deal with all the backlogs in asylum processes, including appeals. The project is partly funded by the UNHCR as part of their commitment to assisting SA in clearing the backlogs in the asylum processes. The Minister of Home Affairs would like to extend his sincere gratitude to the UNHCR for its intervention. The funds would be used to employ additional lawyers on a temporary basis to assist in the asylum processes
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