Home Affairs is in a state of utter chaos

Jacky Mashapu, the Home Affairs acting head of communications, has now contradicted a statement made last week by refugee affairs director, Busisiwe Mkhwebane-Tshelha, that the department was considering setting up transit camps for Zimbabwean refugees at the border.

Jacky Mashapu, the Home Affairs acting head of communications, has now contradicted a statement made last week by refugee affairs director, Busisiwe Mkhwebane-Tshelha, that the department was considering setting up transit camps for Zimbabwean refugees at the border.

Mashapu claims instead that the department is considering setting up more refugee reception centres, and that this has "no bearing on Zimbabwean refugees per se".

It is easy to see why the department exists in such a state of chaos. The right hand has no idea what the left hand is doing. Mkhwebane-Tshelha gave one set of details that Mashapu appears to know about.

This leaves the public continually wondering who has the right story every time the department says something.

It isn't too much to ask that national departments have strategies that all employees are aware of. It is unacceptable that two high-ranking officials in home affairs have instructions that contradict each other.

Not only is this another spotlight on the shambolic department, it is also another disappointment for millions of Zimbabwean refugees who would have been accorded some measure of safety in this country. Even worse - it is a letdown for the 47million South Africans who have to deal with the refugees without any help from the state.

Mark Lowe, DA spokesman on Home Affairs

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