South Africa: Ekurhuleni Assists Displaced Foreigners to Return Home

13 September 2019

About 220 foreign nationals housed at two City of Ekurhuleni shelters in Katlehong have left the facilities and have returned to their countries of birth.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Metro said 96 Zimbabwean nationals left Tsholo Hall in two buses, while 125 Mozambique nationals left in three buses from DH Williams Hall.

The affected people were displaced during last week's violent attacks on foreign nationals in parts of Gauteng.

"The mortal remains of Mr Isaac Sithole from Zimbabwe, who lost his life during the attacks at Mandela Park informal settlement in Katlehong, were also repatriated," said city acting spokesperson Solly Mashabela in the statement.

Ekurhuleni Speaker Patricia Kumalo officiated over a prayer service for Sithole's send-off and led the procession that went to Mandela informal settlement where Sithole died for his family to perform cultural rituals.

"During the prayer service, Kumalo urged residents of Ekurhuleni to denounce attacks on foreign nationals. She said the City will continue working with the relevant departments and embassies and consulates of different countries to curb the attacks," Mashabela said.

The City, he said, worked with the concerned embassies, consulates offices, as well as Department of Home Affairs for documentation of the undocumented and those who lost their immigration documents during the attacks.

"The City, in addition to providing humanitarian services to the displaced, worked in collaboration with NGOs, faith-based organisations and relevant government departments to ensure safe repatriation of the displaced persons who wished to return to their counties of origin," the statement said.

The respective consulates carried the costs for repatriation.

Mashabela said those who will remain will be reintegrated into local communities after the necessary consultations are done with affected communities. Consultations to reintegrate them into local communities have started.

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