MPs concerned with ‘criminal challenges’ at Desmond Tutu Refugee centre

Members were told that the security situation around the precinct has not improved and syndicates are allegedly operating with impunity.

EWN visits the Desmond Tutu Refugee Centre in Marabastad in Tshwane with DA Gauteng leader John Moodey to highlight the barriers faced by those seeking asylum. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's Home Affairs Portfolio Committee wants the home affairs minister and colleagues in the security cluster to urgently find solutions to what it calls ongoing “criminal challenges” outside the Desmond Tutu Refugee centre in Pretoria.

The committee visited the centre on Friday to assess progress made since the launch of South Africa's automated asylum system in 2017.

Members were told that the security situation around the precinct has not improved and syndicates are allegedly operating with impunity.

The committee says it's unacceptable that police and metro police are allegedly contributing to the problem and that people are being mugged in full view of officials, who then don't act.

It's hoping that ministerial engagement will help solve the issues and is calling for harsher action against collusive officials as well as lifestyle audits among staff.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)