Detention of nine Zim nationals lawful, says home affairs

Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba inspects the automated booking system at Marabastad refugee reception office in Tshwane. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba inspects the automated booking system at Marabastad refugee reception office in Tshwane. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The Zimbabwean nationals had to be detained for the department of home affairs to obtain documents to deport them.

The detention of nine Zimbabweans who were returning to their home country in a minibus taxi last month was lawful, as they were undocumented, the department of home affairs has said.

The nine “illegal foreigners”, arrested on August 21, are being held in De Aar, in the Northern Cape. They were told they would be kept for up to three months and then transferred to Lindela Repatriation Centre in Gauteng.

Home affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni said yesterday the Zimbabweans had to be arrested in order to obtain documents to deport them.

“We must first go to the embassy of the country they claim to come from and the Zimbabwean government has to give us a certificate confirming they are nationals of the country.

“Their country of origin needs to issue a one-way document for them to cross the border.

“One cannot leave the country without those documents,” he told The Citizen on the sidelines of Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba’s tour of the Marabastad refugee reception office in Pretoria.

The nine Zimbabweans have been held at Hanover Police Station in the Northern Cape for the past three weeks. Apleni said the length of their stay there depended on how long it took to process the documents.

“Unfortunately, there is no Zimbabwean embassy or consulate in the Northern Cape, they are only in Gauteng and Cape Town.

“Embassy [staff] will need to go to De Aar to identify all nine of their citizens to confirm that they are indeed from Zimbabwe.

“We can’t allow them to go to Zimbabwe without being assured that they are indeed from there.” Apleni said.

He said the nine could be taken to Lindela Repatriation Centre in the interim to “protect” them.

“Lindela is operating well and the Human Rights Commission has an office space to work from there.

“As the department, we inspect the centre often. It can accommodate a maximum of 3 500 foreigners at a time.” he said.

Meanwhile, Gigaba’s visit to the Marabastad Refugee reception office was to assess progress on renovations and the implementation of a new paperless system.

The new system operates from an automated asylum-seeker kiosk that captures refugees’ fingerprints and books an appointment for them with the department of home affairs.

The system will be fully operational by November and will stop corruption, Gigaba said.

“Anyone who enters the centre will enter on the basis of the online booking, meaning their fingerprints have been captured.

“The applicant will be provided with a date and time of interview and capturing of data. If they do not have their fingerprints captured, they will not be able to access the centre.

“This will avoid corruption and bribery, as they won’t have access to officials,” said Gigaba.

The paperless system would be rolled out throughout the country and at border posts over the next five years.

Rorisang Kgosana–

“You died in 2015,” Home Affairs tells uMgeni Park man

uMgeni Park resident, Jan Meyer, holds up an abridged copy of his death certificate. He was declared dead by the Department of Home Affairs last year.

uMgeni Park resident, Jan Meyer, holds up an abridged copy of his death certificate. He was declared dead by the Department of Home Affairs last year.

AN uMgeni Park resident says he is at his wits end trying to prove he is not dead. Jan Meyer, 66, was declared dead in 2015 by the Department of Home Affairs. The Browns Drift Road resident said that his life has come to a standstill since he was informed by the department’s offices in Umgeni Road when he was applying for a new ID, that he was “deceased”.

“I had gone to the department’s offices to renew my ID but when I got there, I got the fright of my life when the officials informed me that according to their records, I’m deceased. Apparently I died in Sasolburg, I’ve never been to the place. Now I’ve got a death certificate. It has been over a year now and I am being sent from pillar to post to resolve the matter. I’ve completed several documents, received affidavits, and still nothing has been down. Now, the records are also showing my wife is a widower.

“I’m so angry and frustrated, but what makes this worse, is nobody is that taking responsibility. I was interviewed on TV not too long ago and I was assured by the Minister of Home Affairs that the issue would be sorted, a year later and still nothing has been rectified. I also cannot claim annuities from my insurance. Last year, I had to write an affidavit before one of them paid me out, however this year, once again, they have halted the payments saying I was dead,” he said.

Earlier this year Meyer visited his children in Namibia and had problems crossing the border.

“I have virtually no rights. My biggest fear is if I do die, what happens to my wife. No one seems to care enough to set the record straight. Earlier this year, I was humiliated at my voting station because the record reflected I was dead. I couldn’t even vote. No one can tell me it may have been an error at the capturing stage or a duplication because of the same names. There are promises of investigation, but no one does anything. I’m so stressed by this, I just want things to be okay again,” he said.

GIGABA LAUNCHES PAPERLESS SYSTEM AT MARABASTAD REFUGEE CENTRE Malusi Gigaba says ridding the application process of queues decreases chances of collusion and corruption.

JOHANNESBURG – Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says the introduction of a paperless system at the Marabastad refugee reception office will contribute towards eradicating corruption.

Gigaba conducted a tour of the office in Pretoria today where interventions are underway to improve the services provided to asylum seekers.

The office has been a cause of concern for years due to continued allegations of fraud and corruption, as well as human rights violations.

The Department of Home Affairs believes the introduction of automated systems at the Marabastad centre will eradicate long queues and other challenges they present.

Minister Gigaba says ridding the application process of queues decreases the chances of collusion and corruption.Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba views an Automated Asylum Seekers Booking Terminal which will be used to automate booking at the Marabastad refugee reception office in Pretoria. Picture: Dineo Bendile/EWN.

“The proses of making online booking is going to exclude anybody from within the department who could, in the past, assist you to gain access to the centre.”

Last year, lobby group Lawyers for Human Rights released a report which detailed corruption at the centre where asylum seekers were forced to pay as many as four bribes just to have their paperwork finalised.

Now Gigaba says such human rights violations will be drastically decreased through the use of technology.

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Relocation Africa – a Brief History

A Brief History

As the New South Africa was being born and South Africa was on the world stage, Relocation Africa started in 1993 in Johannesburg, South Africa, providing homefinding services to expatriates moving into Johannesburg. In 1997 the Cape Town branch was opened and Immigration services were included into the offering to support the client’s needs and in 1999 the international payment service was incorporated to support international clients needs to transact expatriate’s payments in South Africa.

In 2000 the Relocation Africa head-office was consolidated to Cape Town and an internal web-based system was developed to support the needs of the business and facilitate the centralised head office business model. The business decided to register a sister company called Global Expatriate Management (GEM) to take over the payments services as well as starting a payroll solution for clients who had regional offices across Africa but with a centralised payroll head office in South Africa.

In 2002 we made the strategic decision to expand relocation services into Africa. The network of consultants being recruited across Africa were able to provide housing data so in 2004 GEM formalised this housing data into a formal housing survey. We now run these biannual surveys across most countries in Africa. In 2005 GEM expanded to collect cost of living data with a network of field workers across Africa.

In 2006, due to client demand, we started expanding immigration services into other African countries. Our next key step was formalising a training department within the business in 2008 – prior to that, it had been the responsibility of the account managers to recruit and train consultants. The business has grown organically over the interleading years due to some key staff who always worked above and beyond what was asked of them.

In 2013 Relocation Africa rebranded into the Relocation Africa Group incorporating GEM’s services to formalise the service offering to clients with our four divisions, being Mobility, Immigration, Research and Remuneration.

Each division has a colour, icon and animal assigned with it and we use this branding to differentiate our services.

Immigration Services

Immigration Services


Immigration Services

Destination Services

Destination Services

Destination Services

Destination Services





Payroll & Payments

Payroll & Payments

Payroll & Payments

Payroll & Payments

Africa is an exciting space to be working and we strive to deliver a consistent quality of service to all clients no matter where the services are delivered in Africa.

Being a cog in the machinery facilitating the development of skills across Africa is what drives the management of Relocation Africa to help upskill Africa.

GOLDweblogo_curveIn 2016 we discovered an inspiring organisation called Generation of Leaders Discovered or GOLD for short ( The are based in Cape Town near our head office, and they have an inspiring model which gives hope and skills to Africa’s disenfranchised youth. They identify young opinion leaders in communities and invite them to go through their program, they give them hope, give them skills and enable them to become peer educators and role models within their peer groups. The results of their programs is astonishing. Please email us if you would like to know more about GOLD and what they do.

We are currently developing an internship program with GOLD and we are building a relationship with them as what they do fits in with our philosophy of helping to develop skills across Africa.

Our Promise

Embracing the Unknown

Our Vision

Our vision is to be the preferred supplier in Africa of trusted seamless relocation services to our clients to ensure their assignees become effective employees quickly.

Our Mission

Our mission is to remain a reliable and consistent quality managed provider of a comprehensive range of services to companies moving assignees into Africa, by removing the fear of the unknown continent.

Malusi Gigaba was in Vryheid – June 10, 2016

The minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba visited AbaQulusi on Wednesday last week.gigaba2_43516

The minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba visited AbaQulusi on Wednesday last week.

The aim of the minister’s visit was to officially open both Vryheid’s Home Affairs, and the Thusong Centre in Emondlo.

Municipal officials including the mayor Cllr Patience Khaba were taken on an official tour around the recently opened Home Affairs offices and told about all the ways the department has upgraded their systems to ensure quick and efficient community service.

The department officials then headed down to Emondlo where the Thusong Centre was officially opened, before ending things at a big community Imbizo at the B Section Sports Ground in Emondlo.

Determined to bring better service to the people the, the Department of Home Affairs shared with the community members of Emondlo all the ways they plan to be more resourceful through various projects such as ‘Sukuma Sakhe’.