HomeNewsCrimeConfirmed| 69 Undocumented Foreign Nationals Escaped From Lindela Repatriation Centre (Video)

Confirmed| 69 Undocumented Foreign Nationals Escaped From Lindela Repatriation Centre (Video)

The Lindela Repatriation Centre was holding a total of 1,521 undocumented foreign nationals awaiting deportation at the time of the escape. Most of these individuals were scheduled to be deported this week.

A total of 69 undocumented foreign nationals escaped from the Lindela Repatriation Centre in Krugersdorp, Gauteng, on Sunday.

The escape, which occurred around 11.50 am, was the result of an altercation between the inmates and the management and security team of Environmongz, the facilities management company responsible for the centre. Only one escapee has been re-arrested so far.

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The Department of Home Affairs confirmed the incident on Wednesday, a day after news of the escape broke.

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The department expressed its dissatisfaction with the circumstances and manner in which the escape happened, stating that enough could have been done by Environmongz to prevent the incident.

As a result, the contract with Environmongz is being scrutinized to determine the appropriate course of action.

The department has taken over the access control and other security functions at the facility and has placed a different security company at the gate while the matter is being investigated.

Despite the escape, the department is proceeding with its scheduled plan to deport the undocumented foreign nationals to their countries of origin, including Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Eswatini, and Zimbabwe.

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Of the 69 escapees, the majority were from Tanzania. The nationalities of the escapees include Tanzania (38), Malawi (14), Zimbabwe (5), Mozambique (3), Burundi (3), Democratic Republic of Congo (3), Lesotho (2), and Nigeria (1).

The Lindela Repatriation Centre was holding a total of 1,521 undocumented foreign nationals awaiting deportation at the time of the escape. Most of these individuals were scheduled to be deported this week.

Despite the events that took place over the weekend, the department is proceeding with its scheduled plan to deport individuals to their countries of origin. Last week, the department deported 1,050 individuals to Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe as part of this plan.

Environmongz informed the Department of Home Affairs of a second attempted escape on Monday morning, which was immediately brought under control. Tragically, one of the deportees succumbed to injuries that allegedly occurred during this second attempt.

The incident is now the subject of a police investigation, in addition to the investigation into the escape on March 17, 2024.

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As part of the probe, two security officers have been arrested and are currently in custody. The department is also collaborating with other law enforcement agencies to track down the escapees, and one escapee has already been re-arrested.

This series of events has raised serious concerns about the management and security protocols at the Lindela Repatriation Centre. The Department of Home Affairs is committed to ensuring the safety and security of both the detainees and the public and will take appropriate action based on the findings of the investigations.

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Keitumetse Modise for SurgeZirc SA
Keitumetse Modise for SurgeZirc SA
Keitumetse Modise is a passionate and dedicated local news writer who brings the latest news and updates from your community straight to your doorstep. With years of experience in journalism, Keitumetse has established herself as a reliable source of information, covering a wide range of topics that matter to you.
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