The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) would like to congratulate and celebrate the victory by the South African Human Rights Commission in ensuring the release of 39 non-nationals who were being held illegally at Lindela. Lindela often detains non-nationals held for immigration related offences. The Commission had placed an urgent High Court application on Saturday in light of the fact that the Home Affairs had been holding 39 non-nationals at Lindela for more that the stipulated maximum of 120 days. Before the case could be heard however, Lindela officials began to release the detainees in batches, and yesterday the last batch was released.
This move by Lindela is a clear illustration that they are aware of the law and its expectation with regards to the amount of time which non-nationals can be held the repatriation centre. The Immigration Act of South African stipulates that any non-national caught without documentation, can only be held for a maximum of 120 days. During this detention period, the government is supposed to verify that the person in question does not have documentation which allows them to stay legally in South Africa. This detention period is also supposed to be used to confirm their country of origin and prepare them for repatriation back to their country.
Often however, many non-nationals find themselves being held at Lindela for more that the stipulated time. CoRMSA would like to reaffirm the position presented by the South African Human Rights Commission by emphasising that this is a clear violation of the rights of the non-nationals and should not be allowed to happen. CoRMSA would also like to commend the Commission for taking a stand against this unlawful practice through holding the Department of Home Affairs and the government accountable for their actions.
CoRMSA remains committed to upholding the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and other international migrants living in South Africa.
For more information contact:
Tel: 011 403 7560
Mobile: 078 287 1485
Media and Communications Officer
Tel: 011 403 7560
Mobile: 083 501 8761
For more about the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa, refer to www.cormsa.org.za.
To view other NGO press releases, refer to www.ngopulse.org/group/home-page/pressreleases.