The deportations follow a string of xenophobic attacks. The crackdown began on as South Africa moved to convene negotiations between Zimbabwe's warring political parties.
South African police on Tuesday forcefully evicted hundreds of immigrants from temporary camps in Johannesburg. The immigrants, who now face deportation, were earlier targeted in xenophobic attacks. Their plight signals the fallout of rising food prices and the worsening economic conditions in South Africa and the region.
According to the South African daily Mail and Guardian, those immigrants who had not properly registered were being evicted from refugee camps and taken to repatriation centers, from where they would be deported to their home countries.
People who did not sign up for the temporary ID cards, valid for six months, or did not have legal papers would be deported, said Cleo Mosana [a Department of Home Affairs spokesperson].... She said the department would still allow people to sign the forms for the temporary IDs on Tuesday.
Approximately 850 of the 1,800 residents at the camp had apparently signed up for the ID cards....
Earlier, those foreigners who had not signed up for the temporary IDs were taken out of the camps in trucks bound for the Lindela repatriation centre to be deported.
Mosana told the Mail & Guardian Online at the time that people would be "sorted into categories" at Lindela. "All documents will be checked for authenticity and legitimacy. Those with asylum papers and refugee status will be allowed to stay."
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