Shock as scores of illegal foreigners escape from Lindela Repatriation Centre

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Published Mar 18, 2024


Home Affairs has remained mum over the alleged escape of more than 65 illegal foreigners from the department’s Lindela Repatriation Centre in Krugersdorp.

These illegal immigrants were apparently due to be deported to their respective home countries when they made their getaway.

In video footage circulating on social media, large numbers of immigrants can be seen running in all directions trying to escape their detention while being pursued by law enforcement officers.

It is still not clear at this stage whether any of them were caught and returned to the facility.

South Africans reacted with shock to the footage.

“65 people bro, you telling me cops couldn’t be called out to block all exits these people could have used. They might have not caught all but they would have caught the majority. But no you are hyper ventilating instead of being proactive,” one X user said.

“Deportation sounds inhumane. They need to be treated like humans. At least someone should talk to them and walk them through the process (then) send them back,” another user said.

This is not the first time an incident such as this has happened. In 2020, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi confirmed that 37 illegal foreigners had escaped from Lindela Repatriation Centre after they were allegedly assisted to do so by private security guards.

This prompted the minister to say the escape was an “inside job”.

“This escape is an inside job. I can assure you it’s an inside job,” Motsoaledi said at the time.

According to the minister, security guards at the repatriation centre had issues with their employer, a private company, which had been contracted to run Lindela.

Attempts to get comment from departmental spokesperson Siya Qoza were unsuccessful at the time of going to print.

The Star

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