Clampdown on illegal immigrants

Michael Sakuneka

Michael Sakuneka

Twenty-nine illegal immigrants were arrested during a special operation by the Home Affairs department and police in Limpopo.

Those arrested included a general manager at Magic Builders Warehouse, a leading hardware store in Tzaneen.

The manager was arrested for harbouring and employing four illegal immigrants who were found in his shop at the weekend.

The manager, who is alleged to have employed immigrants as cheap labourers , was released a few hours later after paying a R2000 admission of guilt fine.

The immigrants included Pakistani and Indian nationals who are alleged to be operating businesses illegally in various parts of Tzaneen, Modjadji, Sekororo and Hoedspruit.

The operation was conducted in an effort to clamp down on illegal immigrants in the area.

According to Tzaneen police spokesman Inspector Simon Shikwambana, the immigrants were arrested after failing to produce documents allowing them to be in the country or for possession of fraudulent and expired documents.

"This was a joint operation conducted by Home Affairs officials and the police, led by members of the national immigration branch from Pretoria, Polokwane, Giyani, Thohoyandou, Groblersdal and Phalaborwa," he said.

Shikwambana said most of the illegal immigrants were arrested at their businesses, while others were working in businesses owned by fellow countrymen.

The 29 immigrants have been taken to Polokwane and will be deported to their various countries before the end of the week.