News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Thursday September 19th 2019

Zimbabwe deportation deadline extended to August

The moratorium on deporting Zimbabweans asylum seekers has been extended until August 2011, said Zimbabwean Exile Forum Chief Executive Director Gabriel Shumba following a meeting with the Ministry of Home Affairs in Pretoria on Wednesday.The meeting is one of many designed to strategise and work out interventions necessary to smoothen the Zimbabwe Documentation Project, said Shumba.

Shumba said the meeting was “another show of South Africa’s ability to appreciate the plight of Zimbabweans in this country”.

He said it was agreed that the deadline for Zimbabweans to regularise their stay in South Africa would only commence in August 2011, an extension on the March 15 deadline.

Shumba said one of the things discussed in the meeting with Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni was that the South African Police would not arrest and deport Zimbabweans who had entered the country without a valid visa, as civil society representatives had complained that despite the previously extant March deadline on deportations, some Zimbabweans had already been arrested.

“The Department of Education will also be consulted to ensure that schools do not demand permits upfront as has been the case in some learning centres,” said Shumba.

Discussions also centred on a plan that has been put in place to deal with the 275 622 asylum seeker applications submitted by Zimbabweans in South Africa.

Further meetings are scheduled to tackle issues such as the Zimbabwean government’s inability to produce passports for its citizens.

However, Apleni said now news applications for asylum seeker status from Zimbabweans would be accepted, and those who have not taken advantage of the amnesty to surrender fraudulently obtained South African documents will now face the full force of the law.

But Apleni said the Government’s aim was not to deport people but to provide those living in South Africa the ability to do so with dignity.

Braam Hanekom, coordinator for People Against Suffering Suppression Oppression and Poverty (Passop) welcomed the deadline extension.

“This is quite relieving. Obviously it is a very mature and good decision. The Home Affairs Department’s decision is a great relief,” said Hanekom.

Home Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa, confirmed yesterday’s meeting but declined to provide details, saying Apleni would brief the media later.

“We confirm that there has been a meeting with various stakeholders involved in the Zimbabwean Dispensation Project to discuss some relevant issues but I cannot go further now because the Director General will have a briefing tomorrow (Thursday) on the underlying factors. All I can confirm is that there was a meeting,” said Mamoepa. – Sandiso Phaliso, West Cape News

Tags: asylum seekers, ministry of home affairs, South Africa, zimbabwe, zimbabwean government, zimbabweans

Reader Feedback

One Response to “Zimbabwe deportation deadline extended to August”

  1. mike says:

    The ANC is ensuring that there are more registerd South Africans to vote for them, that is all.

    These people will be threatened with deportation is they do not vote ANC.

    The ANC did exactly the same thing in 1994.

Leave a Reply