Lindela inmates tell minister of their suffering

Inmates at the Lindela Repatriation Centre have accused officials of treating them unfairly. Home Affairs...

Illegal immigrants waiting to be deported at the Lindela Repatriation Centre, west of Johannesburg. Picture: Anthony Kaminju/IRIN

Inmates at the Lindela Repatriation Centre have accused officials of treating them unfairly.

Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma visited the centre on Monday for the first time since taking up her new portfolio.

The minister is concerned about the inmates’ lengthy stays which contribute to soaring running costs and possible bottle-necks in the process.

Inmates spoke about incidents of assault, corruption and their living conditions.<?xml:namespace prefix="o" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"?>

Dlamini-Zuma said the claims would be investigated and taken up with the centre’s officials.

“Obviously people are supposed to be treated humanely and with dignity, even if they are going to be deported. If it was not happening it would be a concern,” said Dlamini-Zuma.