South Africa’s government says they have started deporting 20 refugees and asylum seekers who were part of a months-long sit-in protest against xenophobia.
South Africa’s Home Affairs department said in a statement that the migrants are mostly from African countries and were demanding to be resettled outside South Africa.
Their sit-in began outside the offices of the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) in Cape Town in October 2019 with Hundreds of people taking part in the protest campaign which lasted five months.
At the time the migrants said they did not feel safe because of xenophobic attacks in South Africa’s townships, and that they were treated poorly and discriminated against.
No names or destination countries of the 20 people being deported have been mentioned but the Department of Home Affairs said it had followed due process and that the affected foreign nationals have already been transferred to Lindela Repatriation Centre for deportation purposes.
Since 2008, there have been numerous outbreaks of xenophobic violence targeting foreign nationals from the rest of the continent in townships across the country.