Groups of protesting refugees and asylum seekers who have recently been hit by police in Pretoria and Cape Town, are threatening to take the road to Namibia or Mozambique.
According to Njabulo Nzuza, Deputy Home Minister, it is because the South African government does not want to give in to their demands to relocate to Canada or “other better countries”.
This he told MPs in parliament on Tuesday when his department reported, among other things, on the latest developments regarding the demonstrating immigrants, especially those from the rest of Africa.
He said foreigners who had recently camped out in front of the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Pretoria, and those in Cape Town’s plea are now being relocated to other countries.
“We tried to talk to them, but they made it very clear that they did not want anything to do with us as domestic affairs. They want to move on to what they call “better countries.” Among them, they want to go to Canada or similar countries. “
However, Nzuza has made it clear that it is not South Africa’s responsibility to force refugees to other countries.
He said residents of the area in Pretoria where the refugees camped went to court because they were not happy with the refugees’ presence there.
“As in Waterkloof, where residents received an eviction order that ordered the refugees to leave that area. Others subsequently entered the UNHCR premises in Pretoria illegally.
“We want to make it very clear that no one has the right to violate our national laws, whether they are refugees or asylum seekers.”
Nzuza said of the 615 involved refugees in Gauteng, 523 were documented.
“The rest immediately applied for asylum when we found out that they were not documented. We then followed the correct steps to record them. So it is a myth that they want home affairs documents. The truth is, they want to go to ‘better countries’. ”
Nzuza says some of the refugees arrested have violated the national laws. “They must now go through the prosecution process before they can be released.”
He added that some of the foreigners were now threatening to “migrate” to Namibia or Mozambique.
“They are now demanding that the police accompany them there. The Namibian government has already expressed its deep dissatisfaction as to whether the South African government wants to send foreigners there. “