Foreign Nationals Flee South African Repatriation Center

March 22, 2024
The escapees were part of the 1 521 inmates held at the centre under private management in Krugersdorp | Report Focus News
The escapees were among the 1,521 inmates being held at the center, which is under private management in Krugersdorp.

Sixty-nine foreign nationals, including five Zimbabweans, staged a daring escape from the Lindela Repatriation Centre, managed by South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs. The inmates, awaiting deportation, fled the facility situated in Krugersdorp, operated by the private management company EnvironMongz.

Among the escapees were individuals from various countries, including Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria. The incident has prompted swift action from the South African government, with indications that the contract with EnvironMongz may face termination.

The Department of Home Affairs confirmed the escape, attributing it to an altercation between inmates and the contracted management and security team of the center. Expressing dissatisfaction with the circumstances, the Department announced a thorough review of the contract and has assumed control of access and security functions at the facility pending investigations.

Despite the escape, deportation plans for the remaining undocumented foreign nationals continue, with a focus on countries including Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Eswatini, and Zimbabwe. The Department remains committed to its deportation schedule, with 622 deportees slated for repatriation.

Prior to this incident, EnvironMongz had reportedly alerted the Department of Home Affairs to previous escape attempts, one of which resulted in a fatality. Efforts are underway, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, to track down the escapees, with one individual already re-arrested.