One dead, many wanted after riot at Lindela

Henry

An illegal foreigner has died at the Lindela repatriation center in Krugersdorp and numerous others have escaped after two separate incidents at the center in the past few days.

The Department of Internal Affairs has now launched an internal investigation into EnviroMongz, which manages the facility on behalf of the department and provides security services. This after 69 foreigners without the necessary documentation and who were awaiting deportation at the center escaped on Sunday.

According to a statement from the department, an altercation broke out between the detainees and the EnviroMongz management and its security services. The incident happened around 11:50 on Sunday.

Siya Qoza, departmental spokesperson, says the illegal immigrants escaped during this incident.

The department is also dissatisfied with the circumstances and the manner in which the escape took place.

“We believe the management company and its security service could have done more to prevent this incident. The contract is therefore being reviewed to decide on the best plan of action.”

As an immediate intervention, the department has already assigned the access control at the gate to another security company while the matter is investigated.

At the time of the escape, the facility housed 1,521 undocumented foreign nationals awaiting deportation. The 69 who escaped were part of this group.

Most of these people would be deported this week. Despite the events, the department continues with its scheduled plan to deport citizens to their country of origin.

The scheduled deportations are to Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Eswatini and Zimbabwe. A total of 622 people have already been deported.

Last week, the department also deported 1,050 people to Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, EnviroMongz also informed the department that there was another escape attempt earlier on Monday morning. However, it was immediately contained.

One of the people who were part of Monday’s escape attempt died from “injuries believed to have been sustained during the second escape attempt”.

The police are now investigating this incident, as well as Sunday’s escape. As part of the investigation, the police arrested two security officers, says Qoza.

Meanwhile, the department is working with other law enforcement agencies to track down those who escaped. One person has already been arrested again.