SEVEN ex-convicts who completed prison terms in South Africa were yesterday deported via Beitbridge along with 213 other Zimbabweans who had been raided for violating Pretoria’s immigration laws.
The group arrived in the country around midday in a convoy of hired four buses.
The move to deport the Zimbabweans is part of the South Africans’ plans to decongest migrants holding centres and minimise the rate of new Covid19 infections.
Most of those deported were undocumented or had used fake travel documents while others had overstayed.
Zimbabweans are allowed a stay of not more than 90 days (three months) within a period of 12 months.
However, most of those who are there on a less formal arrangement are in the habit of extending their stay illegally and are routinely rounded up by the police or immigration officers.
Yesterday’s group is the largest contingent of deportees to arrive via Beitbridge since the beginning of the year.
Zimbabwe’s Consul-General to Johannesburg Mrs Melody Chaurura said their hosts have not been able to deport people in the last two weeks and that the group had been detained at Lindela Holding Centre in Gauteng province.
She said on average less than 100 people were being sent home from South Africa weekly.