Xenophobia 28.4.2015 11:16 am

Close to 3 000 foreign nationals repatriated after xeno attacks

FILE PICTURE: Foreign nationals seek refuge outside Chatsworth Police Station: Picture: Rising Sun Chatsworth

FILE PICTURE: Foreign nationals seek refuge outside Chatsworth Police Station: Picture: Rising Sun Chatsworth

A total of 2767 foreign nationals have so far been repatriated to their home countries since the outbreak of xenophobic attacks in April, South African MPs heard on Tuesday.

“The Malawians in total is 913 that have been repatriated. We then have the Mozambican nationals at 637 in total, Tanzanian nationals – 17, and Zimbabwean nationals 1098…but in total these national groupings are 2665 from KwaZulu Natal. From the displaced shelters in Gauteng, the number that have been repatriated are 102,” home affairs chief director for the immigration inspectorate, Modiri Matthews, said.

These were all voluntary repatriations and more were expected to be repatriated on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Matthews was part of a delegation from his department, the SA Police Service and the department of small business development who briefed MPs on interventions to curb the spate of xenophobic attacks which have left at least seven people dead, and thousands of foreign nationals displaced.

The total number of foreign nationals in the country legally from 2010 to date were 889,943. These included 434,650 with work permits, 104,332 refugees, 273,563 asylum seekers, and 77,398 holders of permanent residency documents.

The number of people who overstayed beyond what their permits allows were 333,874.

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