25 January 2013

South Africa: Pandor Visits Lindela Centre

Krugersdorp — Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor says she is satisfied with the operations at the Lindela Repatriation Centre situated in Krugersdorp, near Johannesburg.

The centre is one of South Africa's largest facilities for the holding of undocumented immigrants.

The minister on Friday visited the centre to get a first-hand account of operations at the centre.

Speaking to the media after her walkabout at the facility, Pandor said she was satisfied with the admission processes of those held at the centre.

Pandor said her department was doing everything in its power to improve its services at the centre.

She emphasized that undocumented immigrants may not be held for longer than 120 days.

She said once individuals were brought, immigration officers had to register them and contact their embassies for verification.

Only foreigners who were in the country illegally were detained at the Lindela Repatriation Centre and later deported to their countries of origin.

"I'm monitoring the [number of] days myself," the minister said, adding that she received bi-weekly reports.

With regards to babies at the centre, Pandor said Lindela did not have facilities for small children but the department made arrangements with the Department of Social Development for the children to be taken care of.

She said women who have babies were taken to places of safety until their deportation.

"It is not the department's policy to have babies at the centre," said the minister.

The Department of Home Affairs is legally and administratively responsible for all matters pertaining to the apprehension, holding, processing, repatriation and release of illegal aliens at Lindela Repatriation Centre.

Detainees are repatriated and transported by Home Affairs.

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