Home affairs building capacity to deport illegal immigrants: Ntshavheni
Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says the home affairs department is building capacity to address the deportation of illegal immigrants.
“Home affairs has acquired 10 buses to do the deportations, especially for those from neighbouring countries, but the limitation has been enabling legislation that empowers home affairs to do that,” she said.
Ntshavheni spoke at a briefing by ministers in the justice, crime prevention and security (JCPS) cluster on Friday.
“Home affairs is amending the Immigration Act to ensure arrested people who have been found to be illegally in the country appear before the court within 48 hours from the time of arrest,” she said.
“They are also remedying other matters raised by the Constitutional Court. I am informed those amendments are coming into our next meeting as the JCPS cluster so they can be processed to the cabinet committee for them to go to parliament.”
Speaking about illegal mining and associated criminality, defence minister Thandi Modise said to date 4,067 suspects have been arrested for illegal mining-related charges and 4,068 cases of contravention of the Immigration Act are pending before courts.
Among the arrested are 63 South Africans and 2,739 people from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Pakistan and Uganda.
Justice minister Ronald Lamola said between April and August 329 accused were convicted of offences related to illicit mining and eight were acquitted.
During the same period, Lamola said there were 7,351 cases in which the accused were convicted for contraventions of the Immigrations Act and 178 cases contained acquittals.
Lamola said traditional organised crimes have been surpassed by illicit mining, theft of fuel from underground pipelines and damage to essential infrastructure, particularly copper theft.
He said extortion at construction sites, kidnapping for ransom, organised robbery and illicit drug trafficking are also increasing.
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