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South Africa government deports 250 Malawians

ECONOMIC MIGRANTS—Some of the deportees

The South African Government has deported 250 Malawians who were living in the rainbow nation without proper documentation.

A total of 150 deportees arrived into the country through Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe and the remaining 100 are scheduled to arrive today.

This is the second time within four months that Pretoria has ejected Malawians illegally staying in that country.

One of the deportees, Alex Kauma, told The Daily Times that the group has been in various South African prisons for a period of between three and four months, adding that they were later incancerated at Lindela Holding Facility.

Kauma expressed sadness with the Government of Malawi for not giving the deportees any form of support on arrival.

“We have just been dumped here at KIA [Kamuzu International Airport] without any support.This is very unfair. It shows that our government does not care about its people,” Kauma said.

Another deportee, Anafi Sumaila,said he went to Johanesburg last year only to be arrested some four months later.

“The major reason why we go to South Africa is to seek greener pastures. In South Africa, we are able to get jobs without bribing anyone. In Malawi, you need to have connections or offer bribes to the employers to get employed,” Sumaila said.

Another deportee, Umali Mdala, said there are very limited job opportunities in Malawi, adding that the takehome packages are too much on the lower side.

“For example, I was earning R1,000 (about K55,000) per week, which is something I cannot earn in Malawi,”Mdala said.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Rejoice Shumba, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

On New Year’s Eve, police in South Africa arrested more than 120 undocumented foreign nationals at the Durban beachfront.

SA Police Minister Bheki Cele claimed that most of the arrested were Malawians.

“For the first one and a half-hour sessions, we have arrested 121 undocumented people on this beach 121 and counting. We just find then in big groups. You ask the papers and find no papers, no passport, nothing and most of them come from Malawi,” Cele said.

Malawians, mostly between the ages of 18 to 40, flock to South Africa in search of job opportunities due to high unemployment in Malawi.

Most of these economic migrants come from Mangochi and Mzimba districts, and some travel without valid documents to secure employment in South Africa.

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