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Home Affairs to study Lindela judgment

The High Court ordered the facility cease all practices not compliant with the Immigration Act.

FILE: A Zimbabwean illegal immigrant goes through a gate on 8 March 2004 at the Lindela Repatriation Centre. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - The Department of Home Affairs says it will study the judgment on the rights of immigrants before taking any concrete steps to ensure they are protected at its Lindela Repatriation Centre.

The High Court in Johannesburg ruled yesterday that the detention of migrants at the Krugersdorp facility was in some instances unlawful and unconstitutional.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and human rights group People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty brought an application on behalf of 39 detainees.

The High Court ordered that the facility cease all practices that are not compliant with the Immigration Act, such as detaining migrants for longer than 30 days.

The court further ordered Home Affairs to allow the SAHRC to have regular access to the facility.

The department's Mayihlome Tshwete says it agrees with the court and shares similar concerns.

"We want to have a cooperative relationship with the SAHRC and ensure the processes at Lindela are handled in a more efficient manner."

He says the department is committed to working closely with the SAHRC to ensure the rights of immigrants are protected.