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Court rules Lindela detention unlawful

By Sapa | Aug 29, 2014 | COMMENTS [ 5 ]

The High Court in Johannesburg has ruled that the detention of migrants at the Lindela Repatriation Centre is unlawful and unconstitutional, the SA Human Rights Commission said on Thursday.

"The SAHRC welcomes the judgment handed over by the South Gauteng High Court in a matter relating to the illegal detention of immigrants against the department of home affairs," said spokesman Isaac Mangena.

He said the court declared judgment in favour of the commission, People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty (Passop), and 39 individuals who were detained at Lindela.

The SAHRC and other applicant organisations argued that Lindela's practices regarding detention at the facility were unconstitutional and in contravention of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002.

Lindela in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg, is the only facility of its kind in South Africa where illegal migrants are detained while awaiting deportation.

Mangena said the individuals in this matter had been subject to inhumane treatment, including being detained for longer than 30 days without the necessary warrant of a magistrate permitting extended detention, experiencing a miscalculation by the department of home affairs of the start of the 30-day period of detention, the failure of Lindela officials to follow fair procedure, and keeping the migrants in detention for longer than 120 days.

"The court ordered Lindela Repatriation Centre to, without delay, cease all practices that result in non-compliance with the Immigration Act, such as those experienced by the individuals in this matter.

"It further ordered that Lindela allow the SAHRC access to the facility on a regular basis and that regular reports on the number and status of detainees at Lindela be issued."

In particular the court ordered that the department of home affairs ensure that no person was detained for a period exceeding 30 days from the date on which that person was first arrested.

"The SAHRC sees this as a victory for migrants in South Africa. This re-affirms our commitment to protecting the rights of vulnerable members of our communities, including those coming from outside, and serves as a stern warning to the department of home affairs to consistently comply with the rights of detainees," he said.

COMMENTS [ 5 ]

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mpundulwana

The SAHRC is a two faced organisation which has a secret agenda because they know such detention centres do exist in other countries and if you are in those centres you do not expect to be treated as if you are hotel Taj. SAHRC is a hell of a two faced organisation which has let down South Africans... Every day South Africans are ABUSED what does that organisation do?= NOTHING instead they focus on very irrelevant issues, they are the ones who promote xenophobia. You cannot expect to come to a country illegally and expect to be treated well. Bunch of wankers.

Aug 29, 2014 8:2 | 1 replies

maneater

i agree totally with everything you say. i do not have much problem with people who are here legally but the illegal ones are law breakers and must be treated as such if they do not like it they they should not come here illegally. and what about our human rights?

Aug 29, 2014 9:47 | 0 replies

Hutton

so where must these immigrants go? maybe parliament

Aug 29, 2014 8:28 | 0 replies

BOKKER

Isnt this Lindiwe SiSulus personal spaza?????? eish. She will have to find some other tender now.

Aug 29, 2014 10:8 | 0 replies

mpundulwana

If you are an illegal immigrant expect to be deported immediately, you need to be put in the next plane to your country. Other countries like USA & UK they put you in detention hostels and at times you take the next plane home, even Australia take you back where you come from, so, meaning in Jo'burg we are going to have a city of Lagos, what a fu.. @ Hutton the immigrants can go to NKANDLA a hotel has been built for them.

Aug 29, 2014 2:19 | 0 replies