This week, on International Human Rights Day, Maverick Citizen published an opinion piece by Lawyers for Human Rights' Sharon Ekambaram. The Department of Home Affairs has sent us a response.
Sharon Ekambaram wrote: "Over the past four days, we have watched Lindela Detention Centre being sold off to the highest bidder. And in this chaos and crisis, the Department of Home Affairs has been silent. This is consistent with the crisis in the asylum system and the related crisis of detention of the most vulnerable in our country."
David Hlabane, media manager for the Department of Home Affairs responded:
Perhaps Sharon Ekambaram should revisit her assessment of South Africa's fulfilment of the duty to offer asylum.
She claims the Department of Home Affairs is silent on the auction of Lindela Repatriation Centre, which, by the way, she calls a "detention centre". Lindela is a holding centre for persons to be deported, lawfully.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, commented on Lindela's auction, including on broadcast media.
It boggles the mind how Ekambaram comes round to a deceptive assertion saying Lindela's sale is consistent with some "crisis of detention". South Africa has no detention camps for asylum seekers. It...