Bleak future awaits 37to be freed from Lindela

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

A group of refugees to be released tomorrow from the Lindela Repatriation Centre in Krugersdorp face the daunting task of finding their families.

The 37 men were part of the 208 men who were detained at the Rifle Range camp in Johannesburg three months ago, after they refused to register and relinquish their asylum and refugee status.

"Those with families will have to look for their wives and children when they get out," said Gina Snyman of Lawyers for Human Rights.

"Their next of kin, who were at a shelter, have since been kicked out and some repatriated.

"It is not a good situation for them."

The men consist of 30 from the DRC, six Burundians and one from Rwanda.

The LHR had filed an urgent application in the Pretoria high court to stop their deportation.

On Tuesday the LHR reached an agreement with the Department of Home Affairs to release them.

Snyman said their detention at Lindela had dispersed families.

She said their families had been housed temporarily at the Riet Family Guidance Centre in Randfontein on the West Rand.

They have since been moved from the Riet, while others have been deported.

"They don't know where their families are and will have to search for them," she said.