Nigerians must have multiple visas to enter South Africa

Nigerians will have to obtain multiple entry visas to visit South Africa, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced yesterday.

Nigerians will have to obtain multiple entry visas to visit South Africa, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced yesterday.

Dlamini-Zuma also denied rumours that South Africa intended granting a visa waiver to holders of diplomatic and official Nigerian passports.

She made the announcement during a surprise visit to the Lindela Repatriation Centre in Krugersdorp.

In his visit to Nigeria last week Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe reportedly said the signing of a bilateral agreement to ease immigration laws would have to be deferred.

This was to allow the completion of an ongoing review of South African immigration laws.

"However, in keeping with our commitment to ease immigration between Nigeria and South Africa our government has, in the interim, made provision for three-year multiple visas for holders of diplomatic and official passports from Nigeria," Motlanthe said at the time.

He said the decision would be implemented immediately, while the review process was completed. This could take a few months.

Yesterday Dlamini-Zuma said the purpose of her visit to Lindela was to get a "first-hand impression" of its running.

She inspected the facility and listened to the complaints of illegal immigrants held there.

"During my engagement with inmates various issues were raised, including the length of time spent awaiting deportation to their countries of origin.

"However, I will still have an opportunity to interact with senior officials of the department stationed at the centre to discuss issues raised by the inmates," she said.

Dlamini-Zuma said claims of maltreatment needed to be verified. Illegal immigrants needed to be shown dignity, she said. - Sapa

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