SADC moves to protectgirls from prostitution syndicates
Internal and cross-borderrefugees on the rise in Angola
More civilians flee as fighting continues in Angola
Refugees flee renewed fighting in Angola
UNHCR moves refugees away from border areas
Influx of refugees from Angola into Zambia
500,000 displaced people to be resettled
Refugees flee amid renewed fighting
Opposition to Zimbabwebus permits
Stop patronising foreign traders, says Health Minister
13 Namibians appeal against extradition
Botswana may import labour
Lost passports worry Zambian envoy in Botswana
Botswana home to 4 000 refugees from various parts of Africa
Refugees flee fighting
Central African nations adopt code on refugee problem
Rise in refugees a sign of continued fighting
Government imposes stricter control of "closed" DRCborder
Refugees flee amid renewed fighting
Stock theft in Lesothoblamed on cross-border syndicates
Curfew could trap Angolanrefugees, says UNHCR
'Curfew' slapped on Kavango River
Dusk-to-dawn curfew declared along Namibia's border with Angola
Mozambican immigrantclaims police assaulted him again
Mozambican alleges assault by South African police
Mbeki, Zuma Buthelezi meet over Masetlha
Mbeki, Zuma Buthelezi to meet over Masetlha
Parliamentary Committee stays out of conflict over Masetlha
Draft migration law promotes xenophobia
Legal or not: People must be protected
Zimbabweans fear for their lives after attacks
More to violence than meets the eye - Zandspruit
Patrolling South African squatter camp no easy task
A case of misdirected frustration - squatters wrongly blameZimbabweans
Tensions running high in Zandspruit
No African complaints about xenophobia, says Foreign Affairs
Mbeki to intervene in Buthelezi/Masetlha row
Honeydew residents walk out of a meeting
Buthelezi submits litany of complaints to Parliament against ownDirector-General
ANC statement on xenophobic attacks on Zimbabweans
'Fewer' human rights for refugees, say locals
Zimbabweans target of xenophobic attacks in South Africa
Shelter found for victims of arson
1,000 Zimbabweans out in the cold after attacks
Calm returns to Zandspruit
Farmers, government agree to stall deportation of Zimbabweanworkers
Zimbabwean workers permits to be extended
Zimbabwean, South African officials to discuss proposed farmworkers deportation
Break for migrant workers
8,000 Zimbabwean workers leave South Africa
Northern Province given 14-day reprieve on Zimbabwe workers
Zimbabwe plans to seize more farms for deportees from SouthAfrica
South Africa starts deporting Zimbabwe's migrants
Court orders reprieve for Zimbabwe farmworkers
South African court suspends some Zimbabwean expulsions
Government reverses stance on foreigners in security industry
Zimbabweans ordered to leave
New twist in Immigration Bill debacle
Opposition MPs want Buthelezi/Masetlha feud probed
Court can't declare fees for alien spouses unconstitutional
Cat-and-mouse game at Home Affairs
Xenophobic thugs roam Zandspruit
Zimbabwean workers face eviction
Home Affairs probing 166 claims of "green card"marriages
Porous borders facilitate smuggling, claims ISS
MPs informed of Buthelezi/Masetlha breakdown
Controversial Immigration Bill re-introduced to Parliament
Dispute over Immigration Bill set to continue
14 illegally registeredfor the Siteki elections
Great Lakes predicted to produce morerefugees
Tanzania expels Ugandans
Tanzanian refugees cross into Somalia
Immigration confiscates foreign investor's passport at airport
WFR faces foodsupply gap for Angolan refugees
Kavindele, Tembo citizenship conflict continues
Tilyenji denounces citizenship law
Sanity of people calling General Tembo a foreigner questioned
I'm MMD's target, says General Tembo
'Spontaneously' settled refugees worry government
Concern over unregistered refugees
Tens of thousands of refugees living in unregistered in Zambia
63 farmers settle inMozambique
Deportations threaten Trans-Limpopo Spatial DevelopmentInitiative
Zimbabwean actor Kanaventi stateless by 2002
Citizenship law under scrutiny
8,000 Zimbabweans slip back over the border
More land grabs likely if workers evicted from South Africa
Zimbabwean farm labourers have to go
Officers transferred over passport scam
SADC moves to protect girls fromprostitution syndicates (Nelspruit, African Eyes News Service,08/10) - International sex syndicates are luringpre-pubescent girls into a life of slavery and abuse fromimpoverished African countries such as Mozambique and Malawi,African Eye News reported on Monday, quoting the internationalpolice organisation Interpol. The girls, some as young as eightor nine-years old, are lured from their homes with promises ofwork in homes and restaurants in neighbouring South Africa andZimbabwe. The girls are instead often forced to work in brothelsserving older men, who believe that younger prostitutes are safefrom HIV/AIDS. The scams are so widespread that Interpol andSouthern African Development Community (SADC) immigrationauthorities met this week to develop strategies to tackle thetrade. The bodies have agreed to work with NGOs such as theExploitation of Children Prostitution and Sex Tourism (ECPAT)board to co-ordinate efforts against the syndicates. ECPATspokeswoman Bernadetta van Vuuren said: "We will collaboratewith Interpol and immigration authorities to form focal pointsaround the SADC region to rescue and protect girls from thesyndicates." The core initiative of ECPAT is to lobby otherNGOs in the SADC to intervene where abuse is detected. Analystsblame widespread poverty in the developing world, especiallysub-Saharan Africa where young girls become easy pray forpedophiles.
Internal and cross-border refugees onthe rise in Angola (UN Integrated Information Networks, 31/10) - Civilianscontinue to seek safety in government-controlled towns across thecountry as they flee intensifying fighting between rebel UNITAforces and Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) troops, according tohumanitarian officials. An aid worker in Kuito, capital of thecentral Bie province, told IRIN on Wednesday there were largeinfluxes of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in area wherethere had been attacks, but that there continued to be a"steady movement (of IDPs) into Kuito and Camacupa",also in Bie. Large numbers of Angolans have fled into Zambia,Namibia and Angolan towns in recent weeks to escape a majorgovernment offensive in the provinces of Bie, Moxico and CuandoCubango. Humanitarian sources who spoke to IRIN attributed thelarge displacements to military activity in the region, but addedthat population movements elsewhere in the country indicatedwidespread insecurity. World Food Programme (WFP) spokesperson inAngola, Cristina Muller, told IRIN: "I think during thisweek there has been a high number of IDPs (internally displacedpersons) arriving in places where WFP is present." Thenumber of people would be determined after everyone wasregistered, she said. Muller added, however, that there was astabilisation in the number of IDPs entering therapeutic feedingcentres, especially in Bie, indicating an improvement in theirnutritional status compared to about six months ago. She saidanother indication that the number of IDPs was rising was anincrease in the number of landmine accidents reported in the pastweek. The victims were usually IDPs who went in search offirewood on arrival at a new area or camp without knowing thearea was mined, she said. Meanwhile, the FAA reported on Mondaythat their offensive launched in Bie last week had resulted inthe destruction of a strategically important UNITA base and thedeath of the area's operational commander. Lusa reported thataccording to a government military source, an offensive aroundthe town of Umpulo, about 180 km southeast of Kuito and about 650km from the capital Luanda, had led to the death of 26 UNITAsoldiers, including a brigadier identified only as"Cerqueira". The source told Lusa that Angolanofficials believed Cerqueira could have been responsible forUNITA leader Jonas Savimbi's movements. They thought Savimbicould be in the area if this was the case. The Angolan governmentsaid recently it believed that Savimbi and other senior UNITAleaders were hiding in the interior or southeastern parts of thecountry. It also said the rebel activity was intensifying in thenorth of the country, particularly in Uige province, in anattempt to keep open arms smuggling routes through the DemocraticRepublic of Congo (DRC). Angolan government and militaryofficials discussed the issue with their DRC counterparts inmeetings this week, but details of the discussions - which alsofollow a United Nations report that UNITA continues to smugglearms through the DRC in spite of an arms embargo - were notreleased.
More civilians flee as fightingcontinues in Angola (UN Integrated Information Networks, 26/10) -Increasing instability in Angola's interior had led toa steady influx of internally displaced people into "mostprovincial capitals" from 8-12 October, according to theUN's World Food Programme (WFP). In its latest situation report,WFP said 1,348 new IDPs (internally displaced persons) fromacross central Bie province were registered in its capital,Kuito, over the five-day period. "In Camacupa, an average of40 persons per day were registered. So far during the month ofOctober, a total of 3,142 IDPs have been registered in Kuito andCamacupa," the report said. It said, however, that the levelof admission to therapeutic feeding centres in the two towns hadremained stable. A high number of IDPs were also registered inthe southeastern Cuando Cubango province during this period, thereport said, "due to military operations in the north of theprovince". "A meeting was carried out by a WFP subgroupof IDPs and returnees, with the objective of defining newmeasures and resettlement strategies for those currently livingin the Savipanda camp. The visit was held to the resettlementcamp, in order to evaluate the capacity to allocate more newIDPs. New camps were identified to allocate 2,000 persons inincoming days," it added. On 14 October alone, 84 familiesfleeing from the municipalities of Nankova and Baixo Longa wereregistered, while in September, 286 families from Baixo Longa,Nankova, Kutiti and Cangamba registered as IDPs. In Moxico, about600 new IDPs arrived in Luena over the five-day period, fleeingfighting further north, WFP said. The food agency also said itsent 1.3 mt of food to the Onambutu transit camp across theNamibian border because "clean-up" operations byimmigration officials in northern Namibia had led to an increasein new arrivals. "Currently, the total population in thecentre stands at 111. It is not yet known when the new arrivalswill be transported to Osire refugee camp," WFP said. WFP'sreported increase in the number of IDPs occurred against thebackdrop of intense military activity between Angolan ArmedForces (FAA) and rebel UNITA soldiers across Angola, particularlyin the eastern and southeastern regions. It also came as UNITAraids on villages for food and other supplies seemed to increase.According to news reports, a massive government offensive, basedon intelligence that UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi may be corneredin Moxico province (which borders Zambia), could be the primaryreason for much for the instability in the interior of thecountry. On Wednesday, Lusa, quoting a military source, reportedthat government forces were stepping up operations in fourprovinces they believed to contain the highest concentration ofUNITA forces - Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Moxico and Uige. Thesource said the Angolan army believed UNITA was receivinglogistical and material support across the frontier with theDemocratic Republic of Congo (DRC), particularly via the northernprovinces of Uige and North Lunda. The decision was taken at amilitary commanders' meeting last weekend, the source said. Healso said that operations in Moxico, involving 9,000 governmenttroops, were examined at the meeting. The source was quoted assaying that FAA commanders believed they had "absolutecontrol" over the Zambian border with Moxico.
Refugees flee renewed fighting inAngola (UN Integrated Information Networks, 26/10) - Freshfighting in eastern Angola has led to a new influx of refugeesinto Zambia, deepening the humanitarian and security burden.Delphine Marie, a UNHCR spokeswoman in Geneva, told IRIN onTuesday (23 October) that the refugees were being transported bytruck to Nangweshi, about 140 km from Zambia's western borderwith Angola. "The transfer of some 4,000 newly arrivedrefugees away from the borders is now half completed," Mariesaid. "About 2,000 refugees have already been moved and weare optimistic that the remaining 2,000 will be transferred bythe end of this week." Marie said the new arrivals atNangweshi were being accommodated in a temporary centre situatedjust outside the main camp. "The Nangweshi camp has alreadyreached full capacity. The camp can house about 15,000 and at themoment we have 15,700 refugees at Nangweshi," she said."The temporary site already has 1,300 refugees and with newarrivals this could overflow soon." Meanwhile, as the UN'sWorld Food Programme (WFP) rushed relief supplies to westernZambia, the agency warned that its food stocks were underpressure. With a United States cereal donation only due in thecountry in mid-January, WFP's Deputy Country Representative JorgeFanlo Martin told IRIN that the agency "urgently"needed US $820,000 to purchase 2,000 mt of cereals to cover atwo-month supply gap. Martin said the arrival of the Angolanrefugees had "added to our problems". Nevertheless, WFPwas ferrying food to the newcomers at Nangweshi, in what Martindescribed as a "truck-to-mouth operation". UNHCRspokesman Ron Redmond told a press briefing on 19 October thatmost of the new arrivals had come from the Angolan towns ofKavaleka and Cilenga in Cuando Cubango, an area of intensefighting between government forces (FAA) and UNITA rebels. Thefresh violence has followed a familiar pattern over the past twoyears, in which the FAA has tried to consolidate its positionsagainst UNITA ahead of the rainy season. However, according toone Johannesburg-based security analyst, the FAA this timebelieve they have trapped senior members of the UNITA leadershipclose to the Zambian border. If that proves to be the case, hepointed out, the situation would become "problematic"if UNITA was forced to cross into Zambia, a country that hastried to distance itself from Angola's long-running civil war.UNHCR said it needed time to relocate the refugees from Nangweshifurther inland, following concerns that the camp was being usedby UNITA rebels as a training and logistical base. "UNHCRhas been concerned about these allegations and there has beentalk of relocation, and while that still may be on the table, weare confronted by the needs of the new arrivals fromAngola," UNHCR southern Africa spokesman Fidelis Swai toldIRIN on 24 October. Nangweshi, the main refugee camp in theregion, lies on the western fringe of Zambia, isolated from therest of the country by the Zambezi river. Described by UNHCR as amodel camp, Nangweshi was set up at the end of 1999 to shelter anearlier influx of refugees fleeing fighting around Jamba, a majorUNITA stronghold in southeastern Angola. However, the UN'sMonitoring Mechanism on Sanctions against UNITA has expressedconcern that UNITA intelligence officers of the Brigada deInformacao Geral (BIG) operate in Nangweshi, and that the campmay be used as a rebel logistical base. In a supplementary reportto the UN Security Council earlier this month, the MonitoringMechanism said: "The Mechanism believes that ideally thecamp should be moved further away from the border. Should thatnot be possible, another option would be to ensure that therefugee leadership does not include anyone who had leadingfunctions in Jamba, or who could build up UNITA control over thecamp."
UNHCR moves refugees away from borderareas (UN Integrated Information Networks, 23/10) - TheUN's refugee agency has begun transferring thousands of Angolanswho have recently arrived in Zambia to a camp away from theborder. Delphine Marie, a UNHCR spokeswoman in Geneva, told IRINon Tuesday that the refugees were being transported by truck toNangweshi about 140 km from Zambia's western border with Angola."The transfer of some 4,000 newly arrived refugees away fromthe borders is now half completed," Marie said. "About2,000 refugees have already been moved and we are optimistic thatthe remaining 2,000 will be transferred by the end of thisweek." Several thousand Angolan refugees crossed over intoZambia's Western province last week following fresh fightingbetween government forces (the FAA) and the UNITA rebel movementin Angola's southern Cuando Cubango province. Humanitariansources told IRIN that the FAA had launched a new offensive insouthern Angola and were trying to consolidate their positionahead of the rainy season. UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond told apress briefing on Friday that most of the new arrivals had comefrom the Angolan towns of Kavaleka and Cilenga. Marie said thenew arrivals at Nangweshi were being accommodated in a temporarycentre situated just outside the main camp and had received foodfor about a month, blankets, jerry cans and kitchen utensils."The Nangweshi camp has already reached full capacity. Thecamp can house about 15,000 and at the moment we have 15,700refugees at Nangweshi," said Marie. "The temporary sitealready has 1,300 refugees and with new arrivals this couldoverflow soon." Marie told IRIN that UNHCR had, a few monthsback, started negotiations with the Zambian authorities for asite to establish a new camp. "The negotiations have beengoing well and we are confident that we will be given a definiteanswer soon," Marie added. She said the proposed new campwould be situated on the eastern bank of the Zambezi river andwould accommodate about 20,000 people. "Nangweshi is on thewestern bank and during the rainy season it becomes verydifficult to access the camp."
Influx of refugees from Angola intoZambia (UN Integrated Information Networks, 23/10) - TheUnited Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has expressedalarm at the increased influx of Angolan refugees into Zambiashortly before the onset of the rainy season. UNHCRrepresentative Ahmed Gubartalla who was in Mongu last weekdisclosed that the current refugee site at Nangweshi had alreadyreached its full capacity of 15,000 in-mates. "This isbearing in mind that there is no chance of expanding theNangweshi camp, the logistical difficulties related to itslocation on the west of the Zambezi river and also lack ofagricultural land to be provided to refugees to produce their ownfood," he observed. Gubarttala said for the past one week,1,300 new Angolan refugees have been received at Nangweshirefugee camp and were being kept at a transit centre beside thecamp while waiting for a new site to be identified by the Zambiangovernment. In addition to new arrivals at Nangweshi, Gubarttalasaid 1,500 refugees were currently in Mambolomoka, 32 kilometresnorth of Shang'ombo district. All these are said to have arrivedwithin the last five days and 60 per cent of them are reported tobe malnourished children in a deplorable situation. "InLilondo border town, which is south of Shang'ombo, 300 newarrivals have been registered. Shang'ombo district itself has 710new refugees who arrived on Wednesday, thus making it a total ofabout 3,000 new arrivals that need to be urgently transferredfrom these areas to Nangweshi refugee camp," he said. Thenew arrivals are said to be fleeing mainly from Kavaleka andCilenga which have a population of about 6,000 and 20,000respectively. He said after a review of the situation with allpartners, it was agreed that no large number of refugees shouldbe maintained at the border for security reasons. Gubartalla saidthe UNCHR was working hand in hand with other implementingpartners to control the health situation. He said food andshelter will also be provided to the new arrivals while waitingfor a new site. "Accordingly, the branch office in Zambia isnow working with the host authorities to provide a new site forthe new Angolan arrivals," said Gubartalla.
500,000 displaced people to beresettled (Luanda, ANGOP, 13/10) - The Minister ofSocial Welfare, Albino Malungo, said that the government willresettle, by the end this year, 500,000 war displaced people.According to him, 380,000 displaced people have been resettled sofar, whereas another 50,000 people returned to the displacedcentres. The official added that out of the four milliondisplaced in Angola, only half gets direct humanitarianassistance of the government and its partners. The humanitariansituation this month, he said, has improved as related to Julyand August, despite the existence of 13 critical zones in theprovinces of Kuando Kubango, Moxico (Eastern) and Benguela(Central) due to access difficulties.
Refugees flee amid renewed fighting(UN Integrated Information Networks, 03/10) - Fightingin northern Angola has sent a new wave of refugees into theDemocratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the UN High Commissionerfor Refugees (UNHCR) reported on Tuesday. At least 3,000 Angolanshave already arrived in the DRC town of Kimvula sincemid-September and nearly 250 more are arriving daily. They arefleeing renewed fighting between Angolan government forces andUNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) atKimbindi, in the north of Angola's Uige province. Kimvula, whichalready had close to 9,000 refugees from an influx in August, is30 km north of Angola's northern border with the DRC. Therefugees who arrived during August were awaiting transfer tosites away from the border. UNHCR has begun to register thelatest group of refugees in preparation for their transfer, alongwith earlier groups, to settlement sites allocated by local DRCauthorities. UNHCR is also negotiating for two additional sitesto settle the most recent arrivals. Local authorities had earlierallocated three sites for the previous group. UNHCR specialistshave been deployed to the new sites, some 60 km to 80 km from theborder, and have begun to demarcate parcels for distribution tothe refugees. Refugee families transferred to the area willreceive two to three hectares of land for subsistence farming,along with preliminary food and household supplies. The newmovement comes barely two months after some 15,000 refugees fledto the DRC following a UNITA attack on a northern Angola town.The latest influx brings to close to 200,000 Angolan refugees inthe DRC. At least three million people - about a quarter ofAngola's total population - have been driven from their homes byfighting since Angola's 1975 independence from Portugal.
Opposition to Zimbabwe bus permits(Botswana Daily News, 15/10) - TheFrancistown branch of the Botswana Bus and Taxi Association(BOBTA) has called for the supension of road permits for twoZimbabwean buses that are operating along theFrancistown/Zimbabwe route. When interviewed , BOBTA members alsocalled for investigations to be carried out at the Francistowntransport office alleging that it seemed all was not well at thatoffice. They alleged that the use of the route by the twocompanies, Dokotela and Mushoriwa, was not gazetted andcomplained about the way the two operators got their permits. TheBOBTA says it seems some road transport permits are being issuedthrough the back door. They complained that Batswana busoperators are having it tough to operate in Zimbabwe, but it waseasier for the Zimbabweans to get permits and operate here. Theycalled on the authorities to allow only Batswana bus ownedcompanies to use the Francistown /Ramokgwebana route because thepresent arrangement was denying them business along that route.Members of BOBTA said that Zimbabwean buses which have beenallowed to operate along the Francistown/Kwekwe route have nowresorted to going as far as the Ramokgwebana border post andhanding over passengers to other Zimbabwean busses waiting on theother side of the border. They said that should the currentsituation continue for long, Zimbabwean bus operators would kickBatswana out of business. Isaac Nthaba, an officer at theDepartment of Roads Transport and Safety, says his office isaware of the allegations and has assigned transport inspectors toinvestigate the matter. Nthaba appealed to the operators toreport law-breakers to his office and the police so thatappropriate action could be taken. He told BOPA that meetingswould be held with BOBTA members that would iron out some issueswhich were of great concern. On why Zimbabwean buses wereoperating night bus services between Francistown and Gaborone,Nthaba said Batswana bus operators have not shown interest inoffering such service and as such Zimbabwean bus operators weregiven that chance. Early this year, the North East districtdevelopment committee complained about the dirt at theRamokgwebana border post. They said the environmental pollutiontaking place at the border posed a health hazard. Members of theDDC complained that people who travelled at night are responsibleof the filth as they always spent nights at the border gate tocross the following morning either into Botswana or Zimbabwe.They said there were no toilets at the border to be used bypeople spending nights there, and as such travellers usually useany convenient spot in the vicinity as a toilet and leave thearea filthy and in a deplorable situation.
Stop patronising foreign traders,says Health Minister (Botswana Daily News, 12/10) - FrancistownEast MP and health minister Joy Phumaphi has called on theFrancistown community to stop loaning foreigners their tradinglicences, harbouring them and buying their goods. If Batswanastopped buying such goods, they would be helping to reduce thenumber of illegal street vendors in Francistown. Addressing akgotla meeting at Satellite on Tuesday, Phumaphi said some of thealiens were forced to cross into Botswana to look for a betterlife by economic and political circumstances, noting thatBotswana and Zimbabwe recently met to find ways to tackle theinflux. She explained that the government has built a maximumprison in Gerald Estate to ensure those who contravened the lawwere brought to book. Meanwhile, Phumaphi assured the meetingthat their request for the upgrading of Satellite Clinic would beforwarded to the minister of Local Government Margaret Nasha andthat complaints about the nurse's attitude would also beaddressed accordingly. On the female condom, the minister saidtrials had been conducted to establish the number of women whocould use it, and as soon as such information became available,the condom would be distributed to clinics. About waste disposal,Phumaphi encouraged the Francistown community to utilise the P23million landfill to ensure the city is always kept clean. For hispart, Francistown mayor Peter Ngoma advised residents to notedown vehicles' registration numbers of taxi drivers who refuse totake them to their destinations on the pretex that some of theroads were not tarred, and report to the Transport department.Ngoma however, explained that his council has secured funds totarmark some of the roads in Coloured and Selepa, noting thattenders were already out. The mayor said because of manpower andresources shortage, the council could not run Satellite Clinicfor 24 hours. Making their contributions, residents appealed tothe council to build public toilets at the Satellite shoppingcomplex and provide additional ambulances at Nyangabwe Hospital.
13 Namibians appeal againstextradition (The Botswana Gazette, 10/10) - TheThirteen Namibians who were to be sent back to their country haveappealed to the High Court against the decision of theMagistrates Court, according to DITSHWANELO - The Centrefor Human Rights. Acting Chief Magistrate Annah Mathiba ruled onSeptember 20 that the Namibians should be extradited, followingtheir governments application that they should be sent backto Namibia to face charges of treason, murder, attempted murder,robbery, and unlawful possession of firearms, ammunition,explosives and bombs. Her finding was that they ...wouldnot be prejudiced at their trial or punished, detained orrestricted in their personal liberty by reason of their politicalopinion." The 13 are appealing on three grounds: that thedecision was against the weight of evidence presented before thecourt; that the magistrate misdirected herself on points of law;and that she erred in failing to uphold the political offenceexception. The Extradition Act, Section 7 (1) (a) provides thata fugitive criminal shall not be surrendered if the offencein respect of which his surrender is demanded is of politicalcharacter, or if it appears to a court or the Minister thatthe person is in fact being sought with a view to try topunish him for an offence of a political character. This iscommonly known as the political offence exception. DITSHWANELOsays it remains committed to the protection and promotion ofhuman rights and continues to monitor the case.
Botswana may import labour (BotswanaDaily News, 09/10) - The government is consideringlegalising the importation of unskilled labour such as domesticworkers and farm labourers, according to the Minister of Works,Transport and Communications, David Magang. Magang, who is MP forLentsweletau, told kgotla meetings in his constituency at Lephepeand Sojwe, that government has realised that Batswana arereluctant to work as domestic workers and farm labourers. He saidas a result of this attitude Pandamatenga cotton and sorghumfarms have employed about 300 Zimbabweans. Magang said theMinistry of Labour and Home Affairs intends to formulate a policyto allow for the importation of unskilled labour. Magang said thegovernment has been under pressure from employers who want thegovernment to relax its policy regarding the importation oflabour. He said such a policy would enable those who want toengage in commercial farming to employ foreign workers. He saidlocals prefer to work for foreigners as opposed to otherBatswana. He criticised this attitude saying it could result inlow food production, because it has resulted in Batswana nolonger showing interest in farming. Both residents of Lephepheand Sojwe welcomed the proposal to introduce such a policyarguing that Batswana have become lazy. They said nowadays manyspend time drinking and too dependent on government assistanceprogrammes including drought relief and destitute programmes.Ditshwanelo, the Botswana Centre for Human Rights, carried out aresearch in the early 1990s which showed that domestic workersincluding farm labourers have traditionally been exploited. Thisis mainly because they have little time off from work in which tomeet and discuss matters of mutual concern. There is noprescribed minimum wage, as there is for other industries.Despite this, under the Employment Act the workers have variousentitlements, including annual leave, sick leave and severancepay benefits after five years of continuous employment. Anemployment card (written contract of employment) should also beobtained from the Department of Labour and Social Security andsigned by the employer and domestic worker. In this contractwages, hours of work and the type of work should be stated. Mostemployers hardly ever comply with the Act.
Lost passports worry Zambian envoy inBotswana (Botswana Daily News, 08/10) - The ZambiaHigh Commission in Gaborone says it is concerned about thegrowing problem of lost passports. "While some cases aregenuine the majority of the cases are not," Joel Chitafu,the new Zambia high commissioner, said at a reception theBotswana-Zambia Friendship Association (BOZAFA) hosted inGaborone to welcome him to Botswana. "My office will notcondone such behaviour." Chitafu said some Zambians used tosell their passports in Tanzania where he was the highcommissioner before he came to Botswana. It is possible that aZambian arrested in Uganda in connection with the terroristattacks in New York and Washington DC is not a bona fide one butcould have bought a passport. He said it is duty of every Zambiaresident in Botswana to maintain the highest standard ofdiscipline and personal behaviour because they also representtheir country and nation. "I have to caution you that thelaws of the land are more important," he added. He said hewas happy that Zambians in Botswana have formed the associationto co-ordinate themselves. BOZAFA should recruit more Zambiansand Batswana to join it; it should cultivate a culture of onenessamong Zambians; and promote friendly relations with Batswana.Chitafu presented his credentials to President Festus Mogae onSeptember 14. Paul Mumba, BOZAFA's chairperson, said theassociation was formed to promote social and cultural interactionamong Zambians and Batswana and other nationals; provide mutualaid and support in times of need; and exchange information onBotswana and Zambia. Mumba said BOZAFA is organising an annualdinner dance, slated for Dec. 15, this year and will donate theproceeds to the AIDS orphans home in Mogoditshane, which has morethan 400 children.
Botswana home to 4 000 refugees fromvarious parts of Africa (Botswana Daily News, 08/10) - Botswanais home to about 4 000 refugees from various parts of Africa whostay at the Dukwi refugee camp. The largest number of refugees isfrom Namibia with 2 300, followed by Angola with 1000 and Somalia400. The rest are a mix of 12 nationalities from the Horn ofAfrica to the Great Lakes to East Africa. Head of United NationsHigh Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Botswana, Cosmas Chanda,told BOPA in an interview last week that once the home to morethan 20 000 refugees at one point, Dukwi has the capacity toaccommodate more than the current number. Contrary to claims bysome refugees, Chanda described the Dukwi as relatively the bestrefugee camp in Africa because it is well serviced. Chanda saidunlike other refugee camps, Dukwi has enough facilities andservices to meet the five basic needs of its residents. BOPAreported recently that some refugees at Dukwi were threatening tokill themselves in protest against what they called unbearablelife at the camp. He dismissed the allegations, saying he wasonly aware of one suicide case and further cast doubt on thecomplaints made by a group of refugees calling themselves"The Refugee Mourning Committee" because its members donot even stay at the camp. He said the five main issues that werehigh on the priority list of the UNHCR in the provision ofhumanitarian relief to refugees are water, food, shelter,education and health. All of these have been well catered for atDukwi, adding that the area was also well designed and positionedto provide good security for the refugees. Chanda said refugeesstay in one area for security reasons and easy administration ofrelief efforts but said those who had certain professional skillswere free to work anywhere in their host country. He said becauseof the principle of burden sharing by African countries asylumseekers were free to go to any country where they would feel safeand that was why Botswana played host to some refugees from asfar as the Horn of Africa. However, Chanda could not say onaverage how many asylum seekers were coming to Botswana becausethe number kept on fluctuating. He also said the problem ofpeople abusing the institution of asylum was not rampant inBotswana but hinted that of recent they rejected about 24 asylumseekers whose cases were not credible enough to be grantedasylum. Chanda said before any person could be granted politicalasylum, he or she is interviewed and screening before the refugeeadvisory committee which then makes a recommendation to theMinister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration forthe ultimate action. Those who are rejected then become cases forthe Department of Immigration and Citizenship to deal with.
Refugees flee fighting (Kampala, TheMonitor, 27/10) - In the past two weeks, more than6,000 Congolese have fled South Kivu province in easternDemocratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) across Lake Tanganyika toTanzania, with an influx of more than 500 each day over the pastfour days, NGO Refugees International (RI) reported on Thursday."They are arriving in Tanzania with stories of thousandsmore who cannot get out of the Congo," RI reported. UNHCR,the refugee agency receiving the new arrivals, is screening therefugees and placing them in camps already in place for the morethan 476,000 refugees currently hosted by Tanzania. "The newarrivals report heavy fighting by many armed groups, includingthe Rwandan-backed RCD-Goma, the Mai-Mai, and various other armedgroups. RI added that unconfirmed reports of the hostilities andcontinued fighting in the DRC are substantiated by the increasingnumber of arrivals of Congolese refugees in neighbouringcountries such as Tanzania.
Central African nations adopt code onrefugee problem (Kinshasa, Sapa-AFP, 27/10) - Delegatesfrom six nations at a conference on refugees in central Africaagreed this week to set up national commissions for refugeeswhere they do already not exist and on legislation to help them.The announcement came in a statement released Saturday inKinshasa by lawmakers from the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC), Angola, the Republic of Congo, the Central AfricanRepublic, Gabon and Zambia. The meeting in the DRC capital wasorganised by European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA), anassociation based in the Netherlands which includes about 2,000MPs and former MPs from some 20 European parliaments. The host,President Joseph Kabila, told the conference that Africa beatsall records for the number of refugees and displaced people andpledged to work for "the eradication of the refugeephenomenon". The forum considered that the mandate of the UNHigh Commissioner for Refugees should be extended to allow formore "specific interventions to help people displaced bywar" and "to help impoverished local populations whoshow solidarity and take in massive numbers of refugees".Delegates said their country's governments "would work forrespect for the territorial integrity of states and of borders inline with the charter of the OAU (Organisation of African Unity)and that of the UN (United Nations)". Both thesedeclarations were apposite to a part of Africa which faces someof the worst refugee problems. The DRC has also been virtuallycut in half by war in the past three years, before a peaceprocess initiated in 1999 began to take off this year with rivalarmies withdrawing from the front lines. AWEPA's stated aimsinclude keeping Africa on the political agenda in Europe, sharingparliamentary experience and promoting democracy, human rights,gender equality and peaceful conflict management.
Rise in refugees a sign of continuedfighting (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, 25/10) - Inthe past two weeks, more than 6,000 Congolese have fled SouthKivu province in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)across Lake Tanganyika to Tanzania, with an influx of more than500 each day over the past four days, NGO Refugees International(RI) reported on Thursday. "They are arriving in Tanzaniawith stories of thousands more who cannot get out of theCongo," RI reported. UNHCR, the refugee agency receiving thenew arrivals, is screening the refugees and placing them in campsalready in place for the more than 476,000 refugees currentlyhosted by Tanzania. "The new arrivals report heavy fightingby many armed groups, including the [Rwandan-backed]Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD-Goma) [armedopposition movement], the Mayi-Mayi [Congolese militias], andvarious other armed groups. But this time, new arrivals arestating that it is the Mayi-Mayi in South Kivu who are notletting the refugees cross to Tanzania," RI said. RI addedthat unconfirmed reports of the hostilities and continuedfighting in the DRC are substantiated by the increasing number ofarrivals of Congolese refugees in neighbouring countries such asTanzania.
Government imposes stricter controlof "closed" DRC border (UN Integrated RegionalInformation Networks, 12/10) - The government of theCentral African Republic (CAR) has decided to control itsriverine border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)more strictly, which had been officially closed since 17 Julyfollowing a failed coup launched in its capital city of Bangui on28 May, AFP reported on Wednesday. Despite this official closureof the 1,000-km Ubangui river border, commercial traffic on theriver has continued, largely unhindered by authorities. A UNsource in the northern DRC village of Zongo said an estimated20,000 refugees - both civilian and military - fled the CARduring 10 days of violence that followed the failed putsch. Thesource added that it was highly likely that the refugees wouldnot be welcomed back in Bangui in the near future due tocontinued instability, and that this situation would likelycontinue for several months longer. Members of the Yakoma groupremain particularly hesitant to return, fearing retribution forbeing of the same ethnic group as alleged coup leader and formerCAR military ruler Andre Kolingba. In Bangui, a curfew remains ineffect, and forces sent by Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi to aidforces loyal to CAR President Ange-Felix Patasse continue toguard the presidential palace.
Refugees flee amid renewed fighting(UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, 03/10) - Fightingin northern Angola has sent a new wave of refugees into theDemocratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the UN High Commissionerfor Refugees (UNHCR) reported on Tuesday. At least 3,000 Angolanshave already arrived in the DRC town of Kimvula sincemid-September and nearly 250 more are arriving daily. They arefleeing renewed fighting between Angolan government forces andUNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) atKimbindi, in the north of Angola's Uige province. Kimvula, whichalready had close to 9,000 refugees from an influx in August, is30 km north of Angola's northern border with the DRC. Therefugees who arrived during August were awaiting transfer tosites away from the border. UNHCR has begun to register thelatest group of refugees in preparation for their transfer, alongwith earlier groups, to settlement sites allocated by local DRCauthorities. UNHCR is also negotiating for two additional sitesto settle the most recent arrivals. Local authorities had earlierallocated three sites for the previous group. UNHCR specialistshave been deployed to the new sites, some 60 km to 80 km from theborder, and have begun to demarcate parcels for distribution tothe refugees. Refugee families transferred to the area willreceive two to three hectares of land for subsistence farming,along with preliminary food and household supplies. The newmovement comes barely two months after some 15,000 refugees fledto the DRC following a UNITA attack on a northern Angola town.The latest influx brings to close to 200,000 Angolan refugees inthe DRC. At least three million people - about a quarter ofAngola's total population - have been driven from their homes byfighting since Angola's 1975 independence from Portugal.
Stock theft in Lesotho blamed oncross-border syndicates (Maseru, Mopheme/The Survivor, 25/10) - Thehigh rising stock-theft which has become one of the enemy numberone of Basotho, especially in the rural areas, is not onlythreatening the survival of households in rural Lesotho, but eventhe that of indigenous crop farmers in the country. This emergedat last week annual meeting of Machobane Farmers held at theAnglican Centre in Maseru. The Machobane Farmers who practisehorticulture using some of the most indigenous practises for cropcare and quality control raised the concern saying depletingstocks as a result of theft also threatened huge reduction inanimal manure which is their biggest open secret for cropproduction. One farmer said while in the past animal manure wasin abundance, this time around it has become a very scarceresource where farmers are no more secure to keep large stocks,because of persistent stock bandits. The Government of Lesothohas tried to be tough on stock-theft, even enacting new laws inan attempt to curb stock but to no serious effect. One of thetough cliffs to climb in fighting stock theft were cross-bordersyndicates mainly in the eastern and northeastern parts of thecountry bordering the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu Natal provinces ofSouth Africa. The theft had become so huge even threateningrelations between the two countries. Another resource that theMachobane farmers said was also disappearing was ash, which isalso very crucial in their indigenous planting method. Good ashfrom natural based products is also depleting due to lack ofnatural resources such as indigenous fire wood and other shrubsused for fire which are disappearing from the countryside. TheMachobane according to members may have to look at possiblealternatives, but which would not compromise the principles ofnatural, affordable and easily available resources. The meetingwhich revived the spirit or all-year-round garden fresh producealso introduced the method to new members and was attended by thefounder of the system in self.
Curfew could trap Angolan refugees,says UNHCR (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, 30/10) -A dusk-to-dawn curfew along a 450 km stretch of theKavango river could prevent Angolans fleeing intense fightingbetween government and rebel forces in Angola's southeasternCuando Cubango province from seeking asylum in Namibia, theUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has warned.The Namibian government imposed the curfew along the river-borderwith Angola on 17 October, citing the risk of night incursions byAngolan rebel movement UNITA. In terms of the curfew, no one cantravel within 200 m of the river bank between 18H00 and 06H00. Areport on UNHCR's website on Friday said the refugees crossinginto Namibia mostly tried to cross the border at night or atunofficial crossing points to avoid Angolan government and UNITApatrols, making them particularly vulnerable. When the curfew wasimposed, the Namibian military said those who violated therestrictions would be shot. David Nthengwe, UNHCR assistant fieldofficer and public information officer in Namibia, told IRIN onMonday that the agency had discussed its concerns with theNamibian authorities. "We would like to believe thegovernment is imposing the curfew because of security concerns ithas expressed before. However, this could have some unintendedconsequences in that refugees may be affected. "We wouldlike to believe very strongly that the authorities have put inmechanisms to ensure refugees get safe passage, and that Namibiansecurity forces will exercise every caution so that civilianrefugees crossing at night will be looked after and taken intoNamibia and accepted as refugees," he said. Thousands ofAngolans from the provinces of Moxico and Cuando Cubango havefled to safer areas in Angola, and to Zambia and Namibia inrecent months as Angolan government troops intensified theiroffensive against UNITA. The government offensive, prompted by abelief that UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi and his senior leadershipcontinue to hide out in the region, has led to increased fightingand instability in Moxico and in Cuando Cubango. The UNHCR reportsaid the number of Angolan refugees in Namibia had increased by60 percent last year and by another 9.5 percent so far this year,reaching 30,380 people by the end of September. "Namibia,which in late 1999 reaffirmed its support for the Angolangovernment in its fight against UNITA, has since intensifiedcontrols in border areas and arrested illegal immigrantssuspected of belonging to Angola's UNITA rebellion," itsaid. The report added that UNHCR had repeatedly asked for therights of legitimate asylum seekers to be respected in Namibiaand that in the first six months of 2001, the agency secured therelease of about 300 Angolans found to be genuine refugees amongabout 1,800 people arrested by Namibian authorities. "Earlylast year Namibia established special tribunals for illegalimmigrants, granting UNHCR observer status. The UN agency hasalso obtained regular access to those detained in order toidentify genuine asylum seekers among them, and was able toparticipate in hearings of the tribunals taking place in severaltowns," it said. In its recent report to the SecurityCouncil, the United Nations Monitoring Mechanism on Sanctionsagainst UNITA said it was concerned about allegations that seniorUNITA leaders and their families were living in and operatingfrom refugee camps along the Zambian side of the border. No suchclaims were made about camps in Namibia, but a humanitariansource told IRIN on Monday that the claims would probably promptNamibian authorities to tighten up the already stringentscreening of asylum seekers. Nthengwe told IRIN that the agencywas still involved in discussions with the Namibian governmentover moving the Osire refugee camp which was opened in 1992 to adifferent site. The camp built to accommodate up to 4,000 peopleheld about 20,000 Angolan refugees, he said, and the governmentwas looking for a new site. Meanwhile, in a related development,UNHCR in Zambia said on Friday that it was sending trucks to theAngolan border to transport about 400 new refugees to a transitcentre near the Nangweshi refugee camp in Zambia's WesternProvince. The transit centre was built as an extension to thecamp to accommodate the increasing number of refugees. UNHCR saidthe Nangweshi camp was full, with about 15,700 Angolan refugees,and that the new transit centre already housed 4,700 refuges,prompting concern that it too, could soon reach full capacity.
'Curfew' slapped on Kavango River(Windhoek, The Namibian, 18/10) - The Namibia DefenceForce has announced a dusk-to-dawn curfew in its latest attemptto prevent raids, mainly blamed on Unita rebels, on homesteadsalong the Kavango River. NDF commander Major General MartinShalli told The Namibian yesterday that the curfew came intoeffect immediately. He warned that anyone not adhering to itwould face "dangerous" consequences. He said residentson both sides of the river, which forms the border with Angola,will have to stay 200 meters from its banks during the curfew."I hope that they don't ignore the orders. It will be verydangerous for any one not following the orders," Shalli saidfrom Rundu. On Tuesday Shalli told a media conference that therural population along the border would be notified but did notsay how. Angolan government forces have already been informed. Itis not clear what legal basis the NDF has for announcing acurfew. The Namibian Constitution provides for freedom ofmovement and there is no state of emergency in the Kavango underwhich this right could be suspended. Angola has been gripped bycivil war for more than 25 years, with Unita rebels battling tooverthrow the government. The violence has spilled over intonorthern Namibia. Major General Shalli and army colleagues onTuesday also showed journalists three men they said were capturedUnita members. The three, described by the media as thin anddressed in ragged clothes, said they had been ordered by a Unitacommander in south-eastern Angola to steal clothes and cattle andplant landmines. Over the past six months, nine Namibians havebeen injured by landmines, while Unita rebels have abducted 20Namibians and stolen 163 head of cattle, Shalli told reporters.According to the NDF commander, Namibian soldiers and Police havekilled 34 Unita soldiers, freed 15 of the captured Namibians andrecovered 103 of the cattle.
Dusk-to-dawn curfew declared alongNamibia's border with Angola (Rundu, Sapa-AP, 16/10) - Namibiaannounced a dusk-to-dawn curfew along a stretch of its northernborder with Angola to prevent raids by the Angolan rebel movementUNITA. Residents on both sides of the Okavango River, which formsthe border, will have to stay 200 meters (yards) from its banksduring the curfew, army commander Maj. Gen. Martin Shalli saidTuesday. "Those who do not comply must face theconsequences," he said, but did not specify what these mightbe. He insisted that the rural population along the 340-kilometer(215-mile) border would be notified but did not say how. Angolangovernment forces have already been informed. Angola has beengripped by civil war for more than 25 years, with UNITA rebelsbattling to overthrow the government. Recently the violence hasspilled over into northern Namibia. To make this point, the armyshowed journalists three men it said were captured UNITA members.The three, who were thin and dressed in ragged clothes, said theyhad been ordered by a UNITA commander in southeastern Angola tosteal clothes and cattle and plant land mines. Over the past sixmonths, nine Namibians have been injured by land mines, whileUNITA rebels abducted 20 Namibians and stole 163 head of cattle,Shalli told reporters in the border town of Rundu, 720 kilometers(450 miles) northeast of the capital, Windhoek. Namibian soldiersand police have killed 34 UNITA soldiers, freed 15 of thecaptured Namibians and recovered 103 of the cattle, he said.
Mozambican immigrant claims policeassaulted him again (Johannesburg, Sapa, 31/10) - Oneof the three Mozambican immigrants who had dogs set on them byEast Rand police last year filed an assault and abductioncomplaint after an incident on Monday night, SABC radio newsreported on Wednesday. Sylvester Khosa said he was kidnapped andassaulted by four white men who identified themselves as thepolice. He said he managed to escape from them and return to awitness protection house where he is living. Khosa laid thecomplaint at the Bronkhorstspruit police station east ofPretoria. Khosa, Gabriel Ntimane and his brother Alexander areunder the government's Witness Protection Programme. They madeheadlines last year when the SABC's Special Assignment broadcasta video showing police setting dogs on the three Mozambicans andassaulting them. The three men are the main state witnesses atthe trial set to resume on November 19. The six East Randpolicemen have been suspended and are out on bail.
Mozambican alleges assault by SouthAfrican police (Johannesburg, Reuters, 31/10) - One ofthree Mozambican immigrants whose videotaped torture by policedogs and white policemen shocked South Africa says he has againbeen assaulted by four white men, police said on Wednesday.Police spokesman Phuti Setati told Reuters that Sylvester Khosasaid he was abducted and beaten on Monday night by men whoidentified themselves as policemen, but he managed to escape.According to the information that we have, he is one of thethree Mozambicans who were attacked on film by police dogs,Setati said. Police filmed Khosa and two of his companions whilethey were being savaged by police dogs in a field nearJohannesburg. The footage, which was obtained by the SouthAfrican Broadcasting Corporation and shown on television lastyear, showed white policemen jeering and laughing throughout theassault as the three Mozambicans begged for mercy. The victimswere beaten when they tried to fend off the dogs. The footageshocked viewers across South Africa and threw the spotlight onracism and police brutality that persist in a country that gotrid of white-minority rule in 1994. The trial of the six whitepolicemen linked to the filmed incident resumes in November. Theywere suspended from their duties, but are out on bail.
Mbeki, Zuma Buthelezi meet overMasetlha (Johannesburg, Sapa, 31/10) - President ThaboMbeki, Deputy President Jacob Zuma and Home Affairs MinisterMangosuthu Buthelezi met on Tuesday to discuss months of tensionbetween Buthelezi and his director-general Billy Masetlha.Presidential spokesman Bheki Khumalo on Wednesday night declinedto divulge details of the meeting: "President Mbeki and theminister have dealt with the matter concerning thedirector-general. Masetlha did not attend the meeting. A weekago, Buthelezi presented Parliament's home affairs committee witha 10-page document citing 64 examples of alleged wrongdoing byMasetlha. He accused the director-general of insubordination anddefiance. Masetlha said he was very angry and disappointed by theaccusations, which he contended were part of a campaign to vilifyhim. Buthelezi, leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, andMasetlha, a former African National Congress intelligenceoperative, have both requested Mbeki's intervention. Buthelezihas previously alleged that Masetlha has not had a valid contractsince June, and that his actions since then could result inunauthorised expenditure and open up the department to legalaction.
Mbeki, Zuma Buthelezi to meet overMasetlha (Johannesburg, Sapa, 29/10) - President ThaboMbeki and Home Affairs Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi will meet onTuesday in a bid to resolve months of tension between theminister and his director-general, Billy Masetlha, which haseffectively paralysed the department. The presidency said onMonday the talks, in Cape Town, would not be attended byMasetlha. However, it declined to give further details. LastTuesday, Buthelezi presented Parliament's home affairs committeewith an extraordinary 10-page document, citing 64 examples ofMasetlha's alleged wrongdoing. He accused Masetlha ofinsubordination and defiance. In his response, Masetlha said hewas very angry and disappointed, and that the latest allegationswere part of a campaign to vilify him. Both Buthelezi - theInkatha Freedom Party leader - and Masetlha, a former ANCintelligence operative, have previously asked for Mbeki'sintervention. Buthelezi has previously alleged that Masetlha hasnot had a valid contract since June, and that his actions sincethen could result in unauthorised expenditure and open up thedepartment to legal action.
Parliamentary Committee stays out ofconflict over Masetlha (Cape Town, Sapa, 30/10) - TheNational Assembly's home affairs committee has written to HomeAffairs Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi saying it does not wish to"muddy the waters" in his battle with hisdirector-general, Billy Masetlha. It was referring to a 10-pagedocument Buthelezi forwarded to the committee last week, citing64 examples of alleged wrongdoing by Masetlha, includinginsubordination and incitement. The committee has already dealtwith Buthelezi's claims - backed by legal opinion of seniorcounsel - that Masetlha, since June this year, does not have avalid contract, leaving the department open to legal action andunauthorised expenditure. It recommended to the National Assemblylast week that the matter be investigated by the Public ServiceCommission. The Assembly has yet to approve the recommendation.In a letter to Buthelezi, dated October 29, committee chairAubrey Mokoena said the contract dispute and the minister'scomplaints were two separate issues. "The portfoliocommittee has decided to separate the issues and eschew muddyingthe waters. "The robust deliberations among the committeemembers culminated in the report being tabled to the NationalAssembly, and I am pleased to attach the ATC (Announcements,Tablings and Committee Reports) to this effect... ," hewrote. The committee would await the National Assembly'sdecision, Mokoena said. Meanwhile, President Thabo Mbeki is totold hold talks in Cape Town on Tuesday night with Buthelezi in abid to resolve the Masetlha issue. Presidential spokesman BhekiKhumalo declined to reveal the exact time and venue for thetalks, saying they were private. Masetlha would not attend themeeting. Asked about the talks, Masetlha on Tuesday said: "Ihave a job to do, and I am doing my job... until toldotherwise." Masetlha said he was very angry and disappointedby the accusations, which, he contended, were part of a campaignto vilify him. Buthelezi, leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party,and Masetlha, a former African National Congress intelligenceoperative, have both asked for Mbeki's intervention.
Draft migration law promotesxenophobia (Business Day, 29/10) -
Legal or not: People must beprotected (Mail & Guardian, 29/10) - The violencethat erupted at the Zandspruit informal settlement near Honeydewthis week not only unearthed the xenophobic tendencies thatcontinue to haunt South Africa but also exposed the confusedstate of immigration control. Three weeks ago, before theviolence, immigration officials escorted by local police stormedthe informal settlement and deported hundreds of illegalimmigrants but they all came back, said a representativefor the Department of Home Affairs, Leslie Mashokwe. Mashokwethis week said that his department was informed of tensionsbetween Zandspruit locals and illegal immigrants in the areaweeks before the turmoil that started on Sunday. Four to fiveweeks ago, Mashokwe said, angry Zandspruit locals submitted acomplaint to local police about an influx of illegal immigrantsin their area. The Zandspruit locals asked the police to takedecisive steps against the foreigners, whom they accuse ofstealing their jobs and killing local residents. A Zimbabweannational allegedly killed a local woman in September. It is notclear whether the culprit has been arrested. On WednesdayZandspruit residents initially walked out of a crisis meetingintended to ease tensions in the area, but later agreed to formthree committees to deal with trauma, rehousing and complaints.The committees will consist of local government officials,councillors, religious leaders, community representatives andhuman rights activists. The police are expected also to play amajor role in the committees' response to local people'scomplaints. In response to the Zandspruit residents' initialcomplaint three weeks ago, Mashokwe said: "Officials fromthe departments of home affairs and labour launched a jointoperation called Operation Clean Up with the local police andmoved into the area to root out the illegal immigrants." Theoperation, he said, netted between 600 and 700 illegal immigrantswho were swiftly deported to various neighbouring countries,including Zimbabwe and Mozambique. But a few days later residentsnoticed that the illegal immigrants had returned. Like hundredsand thousands who make their way to South Africa each year, theZandspruit foreigners in question also exploited the country'spoor border controls and made their way back to Zandspruit. Aweek later they watched with shock as the shacks they had comeback to were reduced to ashes. Police authorities dictated whattheir new "home" would be shelters in and aroundcentral Johannesburg. The men were separated from their families women and children were placed at the Mabunda shelter incentral Johannesburg and men at the OJC shelter in Roodepoort.With heavily armed police patrolling outside, the shelters were alot safer than the shacks in Zandspruit for the stunned men andwomen the illegals among them still facing deportation or,even worse, jail. Mashokwe says that when some Zandspruitresidents noticed a few days ago that the illegal immigrants wereback, they rushed down the dusty streets to the local policestation to report the matter. On their way back it appears theydecided to handle it on their own. They hurriedly called anurgent community meeting. It was in that meeting that anultimatum was issued: foreigners must leave within 10 days orface the music. The music that followed was loud and clear lastSunday after the warning was ignored. An informal settlement thata few weeks ago was just one of South Africa's depressing storiesturned into a major attraction as the international media ralliedto cover the story. Leading South African politicians, who beforethe incident may not have known of the area's existence or itsplace on the country's map, flocked to the informal settlement.Human rights organisations were quick to caution the publicagainst alleged opportunists. Very few of the politicians whovisited the area a day after the incident condemned the violence the remains of the more than 74 immigrants' shacks werestill visible. Other Zandspruit residents were still countingill-gotten belongings more than 120 shacks were looted. Ahandful of Zandspruit residents who were hit by the police'srubber bullets were still nursing their wounds. Twenty Zandspruitresidents appeared in court, facing a string of charges relatedto public violence. Mashokwe said his department condemned theattacks. On Thursday the Cabinet also strongly condemned theviolence. Other organisations, including the South AfricanCommunist Party, have done so too. But, like other organisations,the SACP warned against leading public figures who have failed tocondemn the violence and instead have uttered "inflammatoryxenophobic statements". Mashokwe said his departmentunderstands the Zandspruit residents' concerns but does notapprove of violence. This view was echoed by the SACP and someorganisations, including Rights Africa and the Human RightsCommission, which said the violence was a reflection of SouthAfrica's racial xenophobic tendencies, referring to the tendencyof South Africans to object to black but not white immigrants.The home affairs department's position, Mashokwe said "isthat the law has to take its course. This is a democratic countryand whether people are here legally or illegally we have toprotect them. People cannot be allowed to take the law into theirown hands." Mashokwe said his department has decided that itwill mediate only once tensions have been defused. "Webelieve that we cannot act in a state of confusion."
Zimbabweans fear for their livesafter attacks (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks,26/10) - An attack at the weekend on Zimbabweanimmigrants in the impoverished Zandspruit settlement northwest ofJohannesburg has again thrown the spotlight on xenophobia inSouth Africa. Local residents of the impoverished Zandspruitsettlement decided at the weekend to expel the hundreds ofZimbabweans living among them and destroy their homes. Theyaccused them of involvement in violent crime and taking the jobsof South Africans. Locals with Zimbabwean friends were alsotargeted. Police spokeswoman Terry-Anne Booyse said more than 20people were arrested for public violence and would appear incourt in Johannesburg on 24 October. The Zandspruit squatter camphas about 15,000 shacks and some 50,000 residents living there.The South African Human Rights Commission and the local churchessaid they would mediate between South Africans and Zimbabweanliving in the informal settlement. The SAHRC condemned the"racial cleansing" at Zandspruit. "Whilst weacknowledge the dire economic situation faced by many SouthAfricans, actions such as those in Zandspruit merely fuelxenophobic hatred rather than address the core issues of economicunderdevelopment", SAHRC's Phumla Mthala told IRIN onWednesday. The South African cabinet said on Wednesday that"concrete decisions" with regards to the role of theSouth African National Defence Force (SANDF) in Burundi toprotect a transitional government, could only be finalised oncethe United Nations Security Council had approved the mission."Concrete decisions with regard to the role of the SANDF inthis process will be finalised once the UN Security Council hasprocessed relevant resolutions, and details of the mandate havebeen negotiated. When these decisions are finalised, they will beduly communicated to all relevant institutions as required by ourconstitution and conventions," a cabinet statement said.South African President Thabo Mbeki urged Zimbabwe on Wednesday(24 October) to handle Zimbabwe's land programme within the lawand pledged his country's support for global efforts to bringpeace and stability to the country. Responding to questions inparliament, Mbeki said the Commonwealth and the Southern AfricanDevelopment Community (SADC) had each appointed a task group todeal with the land crisis and political instability in Zimbabwe."Both SADC and the Commonwealth - and South Africa as partof both of those initiatives - are committed to those goals."Zimbabwe must address all of the questions that have beenraised, of peace and stability and an end to the conflict, ofdealing with the issue of land redistribution within the contextof the law and addressing these very, very serious issuesconcerning the economy, in a serious way. We are very interestedthat this government does indeed deal with those questions,"Mbeki said.
More to violence than meets the eye -Zandspruit (Johannesburg, Mail & Guardian, 26/10) - Whenit started the mission was simple: to drive all bakhalangas - aterm used to refer to non-South Africans, particularlyZimbabweans - from Zandspruit. Although it was the murder of alocal resident, allegedly by a Zimbabwean, a month ago that setoff the violence, it emerged this week that xenophobia was notthe only issue. Sheer criminality coupled with personal andintra-party political jealousies seem to have contributed, withsome individuals latching on to the situation to advance theirown objectives or get even with rivals. Koos Miya, a SouthAfrican bus driver, says a lack of political tolerance is themajor problem; it is why his shack was destroyed. His wife, alsoa South African, is a prominent politician - the chairperson ofthe local African National Congress branch. He says their shackwas torched simply because his wife "is a politician hewnfrom different stuff; she is not your ordinary corruption-proneand unscrupulous type." He reckons that his wife also seemsto have rubbed local leaders up the wrong way when shecommunicated with the office of the Minister of Safety andSecurity, Steve Tshwete, about the problem of peoplemasterminding the violence. Three South African-born women whoare married to Zimbabwe nationals echo Miya's sentiments. Theytoo believe the attacks smack of political chicanery. They saythe ringleaders of the gang that carry out the attacks wanted tobar "foreigners" from moving into Block 52, a fairlyimproved area with new and serviced stands. They argue that it isnot the first time that Xhosa-speaking people were killed - sowhy this type of reaction now? "Surely there must besomething more to it than meets the eye," says one of them.Not at all, says Alpheus Madikane, a local ANC leader inZandspruit. "From 1996 foreigners have been attacking andkilling us. They shot and killed one of us at a local shebeenlast month. We have to defend ourselves. And one way of doing itis to drive foreigners out of the area." Addressing membersof the informal settlement on Tuesday, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela- who arrived in a Mercedes-Benz - had more to say about thegovernment than about Zimbabweans. She said the fact that peoplewere still living under squalid conditions showed that thegovernment was failing its people. "They are driving niceand expensive cars and live comfortably while you people suffer.I have come here to listen to your complaints," she said.And they did. Speaker after speaker spewed unbrindledanti-Zimbabwean sentiments, claiming they were "being killedby foreigners". At the Honeydew police stationMadikizela-Mandela said she did not understand why Zimbabweansshould receive such inhuman treatment after their country gaverefuge to South Africans during the liberation struggle. Shepromised to look into their plight. This would be welcome forJackson Sibanda, who came to South Africa in 1980 and is amongthe 100 Zimbabweans given temporary shelter in the yard ofHoneydew police station. Sibanda says he used to board at aproperty owned by a white landlord. In 1983 he, with peopleliving in the adjacent area, moved to the informal settlement. Hesays he does not know what went wrong in Zandspruit. "All ofa sudden something somewhere just snapped. "To them, justbecause we are non-South African, we deserve to live in sub-humanconditions."
Patrolling South African squattercamp no easy task (Honeydew, South Africa, Reuters, 24/10) - Thepolice van turns left and the officers inside find themselves onanother dead-end street. It takes several minutes to back the vanout and turn it around on the narrow, pot-holed road. Youcan see the problems we have patrolling a settlement like this.It is next to impossible, says police spokeswoman Terry-AnnBooyse as the van encounters another obstacle -- a shack erectedin the middle of what passes for a road here. Police have steppedup their presence in this informal settlement just west ofJohannesburg in response to a wave of violence against Zimbabweanimmigrants. The South Africans have accused the foreigners intheir midst of committing crimes and taking scarce jobs fromthem. Several weeks of simmering violence exploded on Sunday intoa rampage, with dozens of shacks belonging to Zimbabweans burntand 174 looted. Police estimate around 1,000 of the Zimbabweanshave been made homeless. Four more shacks were gutted on Mondaynight and another three burnt on Tuesday night. But keeping orderin this crowded squatter camp of around 50,000 is no easy task.Police can hardly zoom to crime scenes at break-neck speeds. Mostof the roads are too narrow to allow two vehicles to pass eachother and summer rains have turned many into muddy swamps. Thecamp is a disjointed maze that frequently changes as newcomersbuild modest homes from wood and corrugated iron. Residentssometimes put obstacles in the road to prevent the police fromgetting through. If a shack is set alight over there, wemay not know about it, and if we do, how do we possibly get therein time to catch the Perpetrators? Booyse asked. Wecant patrol here on foot because there are no lights. Andif someone runs it is easy for them to duck up an ally and getaway, she said. The narrow, dark roads also leave policevulnerable to ambush in a country awash with guns. Most vehiclespatrolling the camp carry several officers. Nearly 200 policeofficers are murdered in crime-ridden South Africa each year.Those on patrol tonight are heavily armed and wear bullet-proofvests. But the police can do nothing about the campsgut-wrenching poverty, seen as the main factor behind the violentxenophobia shown by some of its residents. South Africasunemployment rate is over 30 percent and the camps poor andunskilled inhabitants, who far outnumber the available jobs, bearthe brunt of this. While no one seems certain of what sparked thelatest violence, Zimbabweans were widely blamed for two murdersin the camp last month and ordered by residents to leave. Otherssay the killing of a woman triggered the rampage.
Awrongly blame Zimbabweans(Johannesburg, Business Day, 25/10) - case of misdirectedfrustration - squatters A deep sense of hopelessness,caused by the miseries they have to endure, is driving SouthAfricans to vent their anger on foreigners. An analyst at theCentre for Policy Studies, Dumisane Hlope, says the currentconflict between Zimbabwean nationals and South Africans inZandspruit squatter camp, north of Johannesburg, has to be seenin this light. More than 100 shacks belonging to Zimbabweans havebeen torched by the locals, who have blamed the foreigners for aspate of criminal activities in the area, including the murder ofa woman. The Zimbabweans have also been accused of taking jobsaway from South Africans. "I don't think the problem inZandspruit has anything to do with xenophobia. Rather, I believeit is about people's socioeconomic status," Hlope said.Poverty, homelessness and joblessness were at the heart of theconflict, said Hlope. "When people are frustrated they arequick to find enemies to blame for their problems. And in thiscase, Zimbabweans are nearest to blame." Hlope said theSouth Africans were barking up the wrong tree. "These people(locals) do not realise that if the Zimbabweans were to leavetomorrow their lives would not change at all. They will not seethe jobs they say the Zimbabweans are taking away fromthem," he said. Hlope called on government to speed up thedelivery process, to address people's needs and avert a repeat ofthe Zandspruit scenes elsewhere. Thami ka Plaatjie, PanAfricanist Congress general secretary, said: "People arefrustrated but fail to direct their anger at the correctquarters. Instead of directing their anger at government they arenow fighting with the Zimbabweans. That is sad." Ka Plaatjiesaid it was disappointing that the conflict should take place amonth after government spent millions of rands sponsoring aglobal conference against racism and other ills such asxenophobia. "It is even more scandalous that President ThaboMbeki has chosen to be silent on this matter when he is so vocalabout the African renaissance," he said. Johannesburg mayorAmos Masondo said the conflict was a result of simmering tensionsamong residents and was not triggered by xenophobia. "Thesituation is worrying and cannot be allowed to continue," hesaid. Masondo said he had dispatched a member of his mayoralcommittee to the area to in an effort to end the bitter conflict.But Zimbabweans view the situation at Zandspruit as yet anotherharassment inspired by hatred from South Africans. They view theexpulsion of illegal Zimbabweans from Northern Province farms asan example. Although the expulsion of 15000 Zimbabwean farmworkers from SA was stopped at the last minute, it has notstopped about 8000 of them from returning to Zimbabwe."South African xenophobia against Zimbabweans is growing andthe lawlessness displayed by so many (of them) when they expresstheir hatred of outsiders is appalling," Zimbabwe'sstatecontrolled daily newspaper, The Herald, said in aneditorial. "Even as illegal residents, the Zimbabweans wereentitled to protection of the law. The South Africans have beenlecturing us for the past two years on the need to obey all laws.Perhaps this same bunch of do-gooders will put their words intopractice and do something for the attacked Zimbabweans."Diplomatic sources in Harare said the move by SA and Botswana toexpel Zimbabweans was a "calculated threat" to bringhome to President Robert Mugabe the likely consequences ofspreading regional unemployment and investment flight. Concernedthat Zimbabwean events would hurt member economies, the SouthernAfrican Development Community urged Mugabe to solve the landreform crisis "amicably and peacefully".
Tensions running high in Zandspruit(Johannesburg, Business Day, 25/10) - Angry SouthAfricans walked out of a meeting intended to ease tensionsbetween them and their Zimbabwean neighbours at the Zandspruitinformal settlement, west of Johannesburg, yesterday. Themeeting, attended by representatives of the SA Human RightsCommission, Zandspruit community, the Zimbabwean consulate andthe police, had to be moved from the Cross Media Centre inHoneydew to the local police station after locals refused toco-operate with organisers. Yesterday's meeting follows violenceearlier this week which left about 76 shacks belonging toZimbabweans burnt. Locals torched the shacks after accusing theZimbabweans of bringing crime into the area. The meetingcontinued at the Honeydew police station without the locals, whoclaimed that only five representatives from their side wereallowed in the meeting while all the Zimbabweans attended thegathering. Police said no incidents were reported yesterday, butconcern was growing that the locals's defiance could start a newwave. Locals have vowed to prevent the Zimbabweans from returningto Zandspruit. The Zimbabweans say they have nowhere else to go.
No African complaints aboutxenophobia, says Foreign Affairs (Cape Town, Sapa, 24/10) - Pretoriahad not received any formal complaints from African states-including Zimbabwe - about xenophobic attacks on their nationalsin South Africa, foreign affairs director-general Sipho Pityanasaid on Wednesday. "We have not received any particularrepresentation that I know of," he told reporters in CapeTown. South Africa had a clear position about how foreignnationals and immigrants, legal or otherwise, should be treated."They have to be treated within a particular (legal)framework," Pityana said. He was reacting to the recentviolence in the Zandspruit shack settlement in Honeydew, in whichSouth Africans set fire to their Zimbabwean neighbours' homesafter months of tension. It is believed the disputes are relatedto the murder of a South African woman, allegedly by a Zimbabweanman. Pityana said the violence was regrettable. "There is noplace in South Africa for xenophobic tendencies on the part ofanybody. South Africans have got to show themselves to bereceptive to foreign nationals who live in South Africa."The government and civil society had an obligation to persuadeSouth African communities to take a "different and moreprogressive approach".
Mbeki to intervene inButhelezi/Masetlha row (Cape Town, Sapa, 24/10) - PresidentThabo Mbeki would meet Home Affairs Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezithis week over his ongoing battle with his director-general BillyMasetlha, according to the presidency. "The president isdealing with the matter. He plans to meet Chief Buthelezi thisweek," presidential spokesman Bheki Khumalo said. Hedeclined to elaborate. On Tuesday, Buthelezi presentedParliament's home affairs committee with an extraordinary 10-pagedocument, citing 64 examples of Masetlha's alleged wrongdoing. Heaccused Masethla of insubordination and defiance. In hisresponse, Masetlha said he was very angry and disappointed, andthat the latest allegations were part of a campaign to vilifyhim. Both Buthelezi - the Inkatha Freedom Party leader - andMasetlha, a former ANC intelligence operative, have previouslyasked for Mbeki's intervention. The United Democratic Movement'sAnnelize van Wyk on Wednesday expressed concern about the twomen's deteriorating relationship, saying it was affecting thedepartment's work. She said Mbeki should take responsibility, ashe had appointed both men. This was echoed by the New NationalParty's Francois Beukman, who said in a statement: "Therehas never been a better time for President (Thabo) Mbeki to stepin and - for once and for all - put the department of homeaffairs back on track." Mbeki must end the crisis in thedepartment. "It is clear that the relationship betweenMinister Buthelezi and his director-general, Billy Masethla, isbeyond repair." Buthelezi's document was "solidconfirmation" the minister did not trust Masetlha. SouthAfrica could not afford a situation where an important servicedepartment was hamstrung by the soured relationship between thetwo men, Beukman said. Buthelezi has previously alleged thatMasetlha has not had a valid contract since June, and that hisactions since then could result in unauthorised expenditure andopen up the department to legal action.
Honeydew residents walk out of ameeting (Johannesburg, Sapa, 24/10) - Angry SouthAfricans on Wednesday walked out of a meeting intended to easetensions between them and their Zimbabwean neighbours at theZandspruit informal settlement, west of Johannesburg. The meetinghad to be moved from the Cross Media Centre in Honeydew to thelocal police station after South Africans refused to co-operatewith the organisers. They claimed that only five representativesfrom their side were allowed in the meeting while all theZimbabweans attended the same gathering. "How can theZimbabweans who kill our people be inside when we, thecomplainants, are not allowed inside. There will be no peace inHoneydew," said Steve Zonke, a South African resident in thearea. SA Council of Churches representative Gift Moerane said hewas disappointed the way in which the meeting was planned."The fact that the South Africans walked out of the meetingis a sign of no confidence in the process. We suggest that aneutral structure should hold the meeting," Moerane said.The meeting was continuing at the Honeydew police station.Concern was growing the defiance of the South Africans couldstart a new wave of violence in the area following a short spellof calm before the gathering. Violence at the informal settlementbroke out on Sunday when South African residents set fire totheir Zimbabwean neighbours' homes. Twenty people were arrestedon charges of public violence after 74 shacks were gutted by fireand 124 others looted. The dispute between the South Africans andZimbabweans is believed to have begun in September when a womanwas killed at the settlement and it was rumoured that aZimbabwean citizen was the culprit. On Monday, communitydevelopment forum spokesman Lefty Mukhada accused the Zimbabweansof killing South Africans.
Buthelezi submits litany ofcomplaints to Parliament against own Director-General (Cape Town,Sapa, 23/10) - Home Affairs Minister Dr MangosuthuButhelezi has provided MPs with an extraordinary list of hisgrievances against director-general Billy Masetlha, whom heaccuses of insubordination and defiance. The 10-page documentlists 64 examples of alleged wrongdoing by Masetlha, and is nowbefore the National Assembly's home affairs committee. Buthelezihas previously asked President Thabo Mbeki to intervene.Masetlha, a former director-general of the South African SecretService, was redeployed to the home affairs department by Mbeki.The home affairs committee, in a report to Parliament, hasrecommended the Public Service Commission should investigateButhelezi's claims that Masetlha - a former ANC intelligenceoperative - has not had a valid contract since June. It is notclear how the committee plans to deal with the latest allegationsdetailing the breakdown of trust between the two men. Committeechairman Aubrey Mokoena was not immediately available for commenton Wednesday. The document, titled "Some of the problems Ihave experienced with my DG", says the list of grievances isneither complete nor detailed. "The document shows how overtime the intensity of the insubordination and defiance hasincreased," Buthelezi states. Buthelezi complained thatMasetlha was in the habit of "publicly ignoring me or notgreeting me". "I received several credible reports thathe undermines my authority within the department by referring tome with denigratory epithets." Buthelezi also accusedMasetlha of embarking on a restructuring and redesign project forthe department, without consulting him, and of mishandling theLocal Government Election Bill. Masetlha had also refused tointeract or work with Buthelezi's adviser, Mario Ambrosini. Hehad also refused to fill certain posts in missions abroad,despite Buthelezi orders to do so. Masetlha had even failed tocomply with written instructions requesting him to draft Cabinetmemorandums. "None of such memoranda were ever produced bythe DG, and my office had to produce some of them, while thematter of public holidays still awaits attention." Masetlhah!lezi, appointed a new chief director of migration and tried todisband an entire chief directorate. Buthelezi said he hadreceived reports that certain officials had been threatened withdisciplinary action if they complied with his instructions,"when my instructions conflicted with the DG's".Masetlha was therefore compelling department officials toinsubordination. He also did not take responsibility for mistakesand wrongly accused officials of being responsible. Buthelezisaid he had picked up, in the department's quarterly report,several matters that had never been brought to his attention, andwhich had enormous policy and organisational importance. Thisincluded the setting up of a training academy. Buthelezi said hewas informed that officials throughout the department openlyspoke of how often Masetlha defied him. "This is underminingmorale and the esprit de corps." Buthelezi said he haswritten to his director-general, complaining about his conduct,"but generally speaking he has never admitted to being atfault, and has constantly argued against my instructions andfinds ways and means to elude them without ever acceptingadmonishment or expressing an apology". Masetlha was notimmediately available for comment.
ANC statement on xenophobic attackson Zimbabweans (African National Congress, 23/10) - TheANC condemns in the strongest possible terms, the violent attackson Zimbabwean citizens living at the Zandspruit informalsettlement near Honeydew, outside Johannesburg. These acts ofxenophobia are as unforgivable as they are unacceptable in acivilised society, especially that the perpetrators are SouthAfricans, who owe the freedom they are enjoying, to the supportthe African countries, including Zimbabwe, gave the South Africanfreedom fighters during the struggle to bring about that freedom.We understand that the South Africans were angry that one of theZimbabweans had allegedly murdered a South African woman. Theanger was understandable, but there was no justification forresorting to criminal acts of violence. And, to make thingsworse, they chose to target all Zimbabwean citizens, when onlyone of them was alleged to have committed a crime. No group ofpeople should be made to suffer just because a single individualamong them has committed a crime. And even the individual accusedof committing such a crime should be reported to the police. Noperson has the right to take the law into their own hands. Mobjustice is absolutely unacceptable. We call upon the lawenforcement agencies to ensure that no further acts of violencetake place, and to do all in their power to bring thoseresponsible for these criminal acts to book. Issued by SmutsNgonyama Head of Presidency and Communication 54 Sauer StreetJohannesburg 2001 Contact Number: 082 569 2061
'Fewer' human rights for refugees,say locals (Mail & Guardian, 23/10) - Earlier thisyear, the World Conference against Racism attempted to raise theissue of xenophobia, or anti-foreigner sentiment in many parts ofthe world, including South Africa. But despite rigorous publicawareness campaigns, and the refugee Act of 1998, which enabledgovernment to honour international refugee conventions and affordlegal protection to refugees, South African attitudes toforeigners - including those who flee their countries of originand arrive here seeking asylum - remain overwhelmingly negative.The latest policy series document by the South African MigrationProject (SAMP), entitled Immigration, Xenophobia and Human Rightsin South Africa, attempts to verify, through systematic,nationally conducted research, citizens' attitudes towardsimmigration and immigrants. According to researchers, a greatdeal of information used to measure xenophobia in the country hasbeen anecdotal, making it difficult to quantify scientifically.Specifically, the study aimed to determine the extent to whichlocals believed foreigners - including immigrants, undocumentedor "illegal" migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers -were entitled to the basic human rights afforded by theConstitution. The results relating to refugees and asylum-seekersstrongly suggest that most South Africans, while generallyaccepting that there were genuine refugees who need"protection", appeared to regard most refugees in theirmidst as fakes and fraudsters. For instance, only 47% of therespondents felt the South African government should give asylumand protection to refugees. When asked whether they wouldpersonally support the South African government paying for thecost of sheltering refugees, the response was equally lukewarm -with only 17% in favour. This, say researchers, indicates thatproposals for setting up "holding centres" forrefugees, as opposed to allowing them freedom of movement pendingthe outcome of asylum applications, would be favourably receivedby the public. Respondents appeared to make a clear distinctionbetween a general principle that refugees should be affordedprotection, and their government's responsibility in offeringthat same protection. The survey found that there was a generallack of public clarity on what was meant by refugee"protection". Disturbingly, respondents believed thatthis did not extend to granting basic rights to refugees. Nearly70% felt that refugees should never have the rights of freedom ofspeech and movement. Less than 3% felt these were automaticentitlements. Less than 20% felt refugees should always enjoylegal and police protection in South Africa, or access basicservices such as health care, housing or education. Theresearchers partly attributed this to a general lack of clarityon who was afforded rights by the Constitution. More than half ofthe respondents - some 56% - thought the rights guaranteed by theConstitution were for South Africans only. South Africans alsodisplay distinctly negative reactions to foreigners from Africancountries - asked to choose, citizens of all races showed adefinite preference for European and North American immigrants.About 40% were opposed to Africans from elsewhere enjoying equalaccess to basic services. "None of this", say theresearchers, "indicates a citizenry well-educated in thecircumstances and plight of refugees." They added that thereshould be "great cause for concern" that the generalsense of reluctance to grant rights to refugees is"uncomfortably close" to the set of responses given forillegal migrants - implying South Africans still did notdistinguish between refugees and migrants. "Immigration,Xenophobia and Human Rights in South Africa", and othermigration research, is available on http://www.queensu.ca/samp
Zimbabweans target of xenophobicattacks in South Africa (Johannesburg, CNS News, 23/10) - Arampaging mob of South Africans chased Zimbabweans out of asquatter settlement near Johannesburg Monday before torchingtheir homes and businesses. The attack is the latest xenophobicincident in South Africa, where African foreigners are beingtargeted on a daily basis. The violence in Zandspruit squattersettlement west of Johannesburg erupted when the Zimbabweansrefused to honor a 10-day ultimatum to leave the area of face thewrath of South Africans. The ultimatum, which expired onSaturday, was allegedly brokered in a meeting held at the localpolice station. The station commissioner, Senior SuperintendentBetty Ngobeni, said the ultimatum had been a unilateral decisionby the community. She said police had warned the South Africansthat they had no right to remove anyone who was a legal resident.However, at a meeting called on Sunday it was decided to evictthe Zimbabweans forcefully. The angry community burned anddemolished the immigrants shacks. Television sets,refrigerator and stoves were destroyed. Police later moved intothe area and used rubber bullets to disperse the rampaging mob.Six people were injured in the police action. Scores ofZimbabweans fled the area. Some went to seek protection at thelocal police station. Christopher Ndlovu, a Zimbabwean who hasbeen in South Africa for 17 years, said the harassment of theforeigners began about a month ago. The problem started ata disco when a Zimbabwean shot and killed a South African. Thelocals then decided to launch an action against criminalactivities in the area. The action later changed and they startedto target all Zimbabweans, he said. I cant goback to the area. They will burn me. I have to go and findsomewhere else to live Ndlovu said. Lindiwe Dube left hersmall village just outside of Zimbabwes second cityBuluwayo, six months ago because there is very little work in hercountry. I came here because my family is starving at home.What little money I make from working her I send there, shesaid. The increase in the number of xenophobic attacks has beenattributed to the high unemployment rate in South Africa. SouthAfricans believe Zimbabweans are responsible for stealing theirjobs. Many Zimbabweans are prepared to work for less money thentheir South African counterparts. Unscrupulous employers are alsohappy to employ illegal immigrants because they dont belongto organized labor unions. Jody Kollapen of the South AfricanHuman Rights Commission said xenophobic acts could never becondoned, especially if there were severe consequences such asforcible eviction and the burning of shacks. We have justhad a world conference against racism and one theme was tochallenge xenophobia. An effort has to be made to teach people tolook at Zimbabweans, not as people who are in South Africa tosteal jobs and land, but as people who are in the country to makean honest living. The South African Department of HomeAffairs, responsible for repatriating illegal immigrants, has inrecent weeks tried to crack down on the influx of illegalZimbabweans entering the country. Last week the Home AffairsDepartment threatened to deport all illegal Zimbabwean farmworkers from the northern region of South Africa in an attempt tocreate more jobs for South Africans. But white farmers protestedthat they cannot afford to hire local laborers, and theythreatened massive food shortages in the area should theZimbabweans be sent home. The department relented and has grantedthe Zimbabweans a reprieve until the end of the harvest season.Theyre supposed to leave after that. But with increasingeconomic and political turmoil in Zimbabwe, more illegals areentering the country. Home Affairs officials claim that they arearresting at least 300 illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe everyday. And they say many more are slipping through the porousboarder that divides the two countries.
Shelter found for victims of arson(Johannesburg, Business Day,23/10) - The SA PoliceService, a community policing forum and the Rhema Bible Churchhave arranged temporary shelter for Zimbabwean residents of aHoneydew informal settlement whose shacks were burned down onSunday after they were accused of crimes. After a row betweenresidents of Zandspruit informal settlement in Honeydew, northernJohannesburg, 20 people were arrested, 74 shacks burned down and124 shacks looted. Police spokeswoman TerryAnn Booyse said thataccommodation was provided in Roodepoort and also at Mabundashelter in Marshalltown, in central Johannesburg. She saidtrouble in the settlement began in September after a woman waskilled there, and it was rumoured that a Zimbabwean citizen hadkilled her. SA citizens began fighting the Zimbabweans, tellingthem to return to their country. Booyse said the police werecalled to stabilise the situation, but on Sunday fighting brokeout and shacks were set alight. Police used rubber bullets todisperse the crowd, and six people were injured. They were takento a local hospital and were released after being treated. Booysesaid that police were patrolling the area, and would mediate whenthe situation calmed down. "The arrested suspects willappear tomorrow in the Johannesburg magistrates court on chargesof public violence," Booyse said. Meanwhile, the homeaffairs department has said that the extension of section 41permits for Zimbabwean farm workers in Northern Province woulddepend on the recommendations of a task team led by labour andother stakeholders, due by the end of this week. Home affairsdirector-general Billy Masetlha said the departments of labourand agriculture and farmers were negotiating in Messina. Between10000 and 15000 Zimbabwean farm labourers are said to be workingillegally in Northern Province.
1,000 Zimbabweans out in the coldafter attacks (Johannesburg, Mail & Guardian, 23/10) - Nearly1 000 Zimbabweans are destitute and seeking refuge at aJohannesburg police station following the torching of their homesin a squatter camp, South African police said on Tuesday.They have about 450 people looking for shelter at thepolice station and one of their leaders told me they have aboutanother 500 people on their way to the station, said policerepresentative Terry-Anne Booyse. The violence againstZimbabweans in South Africa ignited at Zandspruit squatter campover the weekend when residents torched more than 100 shacksbelonging to Zimbabweans. Booyse said four shacks were burnt downand one demolished on Monday night, when residents returned fromwork. Police reported eauiy on Monday that another shack had beentorched. She said 29 people have been arrested for publicviolence over the past two days. They are expected to appear incourt in Johannesburg on Wednesday. We have three policevans and 15 members patrolling the area, said Booyse,speaking from the settlement, 20 kilometres northwest ofJohannesburg. It is very calm now. People are going to workand children are going to school. She said the police wouldsend in reinforcements later in the day when the camp filled upafter work. The camp has an estimated 15 000 shacks and some 50000 residents. The residents, who decided to expel theZimbabweans on Sunday, have accused them of being involved incrime and taking the jobs of South Africans. JacksonSibanda, who is originally from Bulawayo, said the troublestarted a month ago when a South African was apparently killed ina shootout with a Zimbabwean in a tavern. Sibanda, who has livedin the area since 1994, said he was now too scared to return tosalvage his possessions from his burnt-out shack
Calm returns to Zandspruit(Johannesburg, Sapa, 23/10) - Calm returned on Mondayto the Zandspruit informal settlement in Honeydew, westernJohannesburg, where violence flared at the weekend when residentschased out Zimbabweans, accusing them of committing crimes.However, police spokeswoman Terry-Ann Booyse said the lawenforcers would not leave anything to chance, and 24-hour patrolswould continue at the squatter camp. She told reporters during atour of the area that violence was likely to erupt again whenmost locals returned from work in the late afternoon. Violencebroke out in the area on Sunday when South African residents setalight their Zimbabwean neighbours' homes. Police arrested 20people on charges of public violence after 74 shacks were guttedby fire and 124 others looted. The dispute is believed to havebegun in September when a woman was killed at the settlement, andit was rumoured that a Zimbabwean citizen was the culprit. Ascommunity leaders vowed on Monday to drive out all Zimbabweanresidents, police arranged accommodation for the strandedforeigners. Women and children will stay at the Mabunda shelterin central Johannesburg, and men at the OJC shelter inRoodepoort. Community development forum spokesman Lefty Mukhadaaccused the Zimbabweans of killing South Africans. "We wantthem out or the government must find them another place. We triedto harbour them but they kill us," he said. Mukhada deniedthat the determination to drive out the Zimbabweans wasxenophobic. Booyse said about 40 Zimbabweans slept at theHoneydew police station overnight after fleeing the attacks. Shesaid a shack was burnt to the ground on Monday morning but noinjuries were reported. Booyse said police would patrol the areafor the rest of the day. Six people were injured on Sunday whenpolice used rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Reportersvisiting the squatter camp in the company of police officers weretold contradicting stories at the core of the dispute. WhileMukhada accused the foreigners of killing locals, one of theZimbabweans who slept at the police station, Simetshi Sibanda,54, said locals resented foreigners who had qualified forlow-cost houses. The houses in a nearby area would be occupiedsoon and Sibanda claimed the locals did not want them(foreigners) to stay there. Sibanda, a self-employed painter whohas been in the country for 36 years, said he was not thinking ofgoing back home despite the attacks. "I have a family here.My wife and kids are here, I can not go back," he said. Alocal resident, Fainos Manenzhe, 30, claimed that most localswere not anti-foreigners but were forced to join the attackersfor fear of their lives. Manenzhe said locals who weresympathetic to foreigners or those in romantic relationships withthem were threatened with evictions or would have their shacksburnt down.
Farmers, government agree to stalldeportation of Zimbabwean workers (Pretoria, Mail & Guardian,18/10) - South African farmers opposed to therepatriation of some 15 000 Zimbabwean farm workers reached anout-of-court settlement with the government on Monday, giving theworkers a temporary reprieve. The farmers filed for an urgentinterdict in the Pretoria High Court to prevent the country fromexpelling the workers, whose work permits expired on Monday.According to the deal reached late on Monday afternoon, SouthAfricas home affairs department will make no arrests orcarry out deportations before further talks have been held withagricultural unions in the area. The deal also provides for datesto be set within a week to make representations in the case toHome Affairs Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi. But home affairsrepresentative Leslie Mashokwe said farmers were reneging on adeal made a year ago between them and the government to have allZimbabwean workers off some 93 farms in the Limpopo valley innortheastern South Africa on the border with Zimbabwe. Last week,the department again confirmed that no new Zimbabwean workpermits would be issued. The department argued that deportationswould create jobs for South Africans in the impoverished NorthernProvince, where unemployment stands at 34%, according to 1999government statistics. The issue at stake here is that theyare willy-filly decided to break their end of the bargain,Mashokwe said. The farmers have warned that a decision to hastilyrepatriate thousands of Zimbabweans workers would plunge thelocal economy into chaos. They are asking for more time toresolve the matter and phase out a foreign workforce that hasbeen working on their farms for up to 15 years. Many familieslived on both sides of the South Africa-Zimbabwe border, dividedby the Limpopo River. Some workers had married South Africans andhad children with them. The repatriation would leave farmers inwant of a workforce to harvest crops, mainly perishable fruit andvegetables, said Edward Voster, a representative for AgriSA, theagricultural union umbrella body which represents mainly whitefarmers. Voster added he could not state how many Zimbabwean farmworkers had already left, but said that those who had had done sovoluntarily. The people that have left so far have done sovoluntarily because they didnt want to find themselvescaught by South African law, he said.
Zimbabwean workers permits to beextended (Johannesburg, Sapa, 18/10) - The Zimbabweanfarm workers in the Northern Province will be granted new workpermits and existing permits will be extended for a perio of 90days, Home Affairs Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi said onThursday. The decision comes after the department ordered thedeportation of about 15000 Zimbabweans working on farms near theborder. However, it agreed to postpone their repatriation afterfarmers sought an interdict in the Pretoria High Court. Buthelezisaid in a statement: "I have instructed my Director-GeneralBilly Masetlha to inform his staff that with immediate effectthey should give the affected workers new permits or have theexisting permits extended for 90 days. "This should give theCabinet sufficient time to make a reasonable decision on theworkers," he said. Buthelezi said because the matter was socomplicated, his department alone could not solve the problem."I have written to my colleagues at labour, agriculture andforeign affairs about the issue so that I can take the matter toCabinet to seek an equitable resolution to the problem."Government has said it hoped to open up job opportunities forSouth Africans in the Northern Province where unemployment standsat 34 percent.
Zimbabwean, South African officialsto discuss proposed farm workers deportation (ZimbabweanBroadcasting Corporation Radio, 18/10) - Zimbabweanand South African officials are expected to meet to discuss theproposed deportation of Zimbabweans working on farms in SouthAfrica. We spoke to the Zimbabwean consul-general inJohannesburg, Mr Godfrey Dzvairo, and asked him for details onthe meeting. The meeting between the governments of Zimbabwe andSouth Africa at official level to discuss this exercise will belooking at how to implement, if at all, the exercise of takingZimbabwean farm workers back to their country of origin, but itwill not be a meeting to determine whether or not suchdeportations will take place. We believe that it is a sovereignright of the South African government to decide what citizens offoreign countries they will accommodate in their country. MrDzvairo what are the true figures of Zimbabweans who are going tobe deported from South Africa or those who have already beendeported from that country because here we are receiving adisputed reports of 15,000 or less? I think it is important tonote that there have been no deportations of Zimbabwean farmworkers. The exercise being talked about in the press has notbegun. The South African government and its farmers are stilllocked in deliberations as to how to determine whom they willdeport and when. It is only after this exercise has beencompleted that they will be an approach from the South Africangovernment to the Zimbabwean government to inform us of whatnumbers they intend to deport. I think they may have been somemisconception by observers of the normal deportees crossing theborder at Beit Bridge and an assumption made that these aredeportees from the farms. It should be noted that they arebetween a thousand and thousand five hundred Zimbabwean illegalimmigrants who are deported every week from South Africa and ifyou have seen anybody crossing the border the ImmigrationAuthorities will confirm to you that these are routine deporteeswhich have been going on over the years.
Break for migrant workers (Sapa,17/10) - The home affairs department said yesterday ithad given Limpopo Valley farmers 14 more days to motivate whycertain Zimbabwean labourers should not be sent home. Originallymore than 10000 workers were given until Monday this week toleave Northern Province farms where they work to make way forSouth Africans. Home affairs spokesman Leslie Mashokwe said about7000 were in SA illegally and the other 3000 workers had permits.By yesterday morning about half of those in SA illegally hadleft. In terms of an agreement between the farmers and thedepartment a year ago the work permits of Zimbabweans employed onthe farms were to expire on Monday and not be renewed. Thedepartment gave farmers until last Friday to make representationson exceptional cases of workers who should be allowed to stay.After the Soutpansberg District Agricultural Union complainedthat farmers could not comply so soon they were given 14 moredays, Mashokwe said. "We have set up an office in Messina todeal with their concerns and submissions." Those involved indealing with the matter included officials from the home affairsand labour departments. Exceptions would be made for skilledworkers who could not be replaced easily by South Africans, thosewho had been in SA a long time and those who had married SouthAfricans. "We are not just going to go out there and go andgrab people and throw them out of the country." But he saidthe department was dutybound to ensure that illegal aliens werenot allowed in the country at the expense of legal citizens."It's a catch-22 situation." The Pontdrift, Weipe andNzhelele farmers' unions and 5500 Zimbabwean workers applied onMonday to the Pretoria High Court for an urgent order to stallthe expulsion of foreigners pending the completion of talks withhome affairs to find a practical solution. The applicants and thedepartment settled the matter out of court, agreeing there wouldbe no arrests or evictions until discussions had taken place.Mashokwe said home affairs director-general Billy Masetlha sent aletter to the three unions with a view to arranging an urgentmeeting. The plan was to try and incorporate them into theagreement the department had with the Soutpansberg DistrictAgricultural Union. In court papers the three unions said theyfound it difficult to find SA employees, as few were willing towork on the remote farms, even for attractive wages. But Mashokwesaid: "The labour department has compiled a database of hotbodies'; people who are ready and willing to work."Unemployment in Northern Province was in the region of 40%, hesaid.
8,000 Zimbabwean workers leave SouthAfrica (Harare, AFP, 17/10) - Anestimated 8 000 Zimbabwean workers have left South Africa sinceFriday, apparently unaware of an agreement that postponed theirdeportation, the state-run Herald newspaper said onWednesday. South Africa had ordered the deportation of some 15000 Zimbabweans working on farms near the border, but agreed topostpone their repatriation after farmers sought an interdictfrom the Pretoria High Court. But the Herald said 8 000 workers,hoping to avoid South African authorities, had slipped backacross the Limpopo River, which runs between the two nations andwhich is very low as the region nears the end of its dry season.South African farmers had driven the workers to the riverside, sothey could cross back into Zimbabwe, the paper said. Thousands ofworkers were now camped in the bush, scrounging for food andplanning to return to their jobs in South Africa as soon aspossible, the paper said. "Our employers still want us onthe farms, but they said they were afraid of being fined by theSouth African government. They told us to hang around the borderarea and find our way back after Tuesday next week, ifpossible," one worker said. South African soldiers along theborder told the paper that they had allowed thousands ofZimbabweans to leave the country through illegal bordercrossings, but would not allow them to return. "On Friday,thousands of farm workers crossed back into Zimbabwe, but now thefigures have reduced to two or three people at a time," onesoldier told the paper. "Since Friday they were busycrossing back into Zimbabwe, but we are not allowing anyone backinto South Africa." The South African government hopes toopen jobs for its own nationals by deporting foreign workers fromthe impoverished Northern Province, where unemployment stands at34%, according to 1999 government statistics.
Northern Province given 14-dayreprieve on Zimbabwe workers (Pretoria, Sapa, 16/10) - TheDepartment of Home Affairs on Tuesday said it had given LimpopoValley farmers another 14 days to motivate why certain Zimbabweanlabourers should not be returned home. Originally more than10,000 workers were given until Monday this week to leave theNorthern Province, where they work on farms, to make way for theemployment of South Africans. Of these about 7000 were in thecountry illegally, while some permits had been arranged for theother 3000, Home Affairs spokesman Leslie Mashokwe told Sapa. ByTuesday morning about 50 percent of those who had been in thecountry illegally, had left, he said. In terms of an agreementreached between the farmers and the department a year ago, theworking permits of Zimbabweans employed on the farms would expireon Monday. They would not be renewed. The department formerlygave farmers until Friday last week to make representations aboutexceptional cases of workers who should be allowed to stay.Following complaints from the Soutpansberg District AgriculturalUnion that farmers could not comply within such a short time,they had been given 14 more days to do so, Mashokwe said."We have set up an office in Messina to deal with theirconcerns and submissions." Those involved in dealing withthe matter included officials from the Home Affairs and Labourdepartments. Exceptions would be made for skilled workers whocould not easily be replaced with South Africans, as well aspeople who had been in South Africa for a long time and those whohad married South Africans. "We are not just going to go outthere and go and grab people and throw them out of thecountry." But at the same time the department was duty-boundto ensure that illegal aliens were not allowed in the country atthe expense of legal citizens. "It is a catch-22situation." On Monday, the Pontdrift, Weipe and Nzhelelefarmers' unions and 5500 Zimbabwean workers applied to thePretoria High Court for an urgent order to stall the eviction ofthe foreigners pending the completion of negotiations with HomeAffairs to find a practical solution. The applicants and thedepartment settled the matter out of court, agreeing that therewould be no arrests and evictions until discussions had takenplace. Mashokwe said Home Affairs Director-General Billy Masetlhahad sent a letter to the three unions with a view to arranging anurgent meeting. The plan was to try and incorporate them into theagreement the department had with the Soutpansberg DistrictAgricultural Union. In court papers the three unions said theyfound it very difficult to find South African employees, as fewof those were willing to work on the remote farms, even forattractive wages. But Mashokwe said: "The Labourdepartment... has compiled a data base of 'hot bodies' - peoplewho are ready and willing to work." Unemployment in theNorthern Province was in the region of 40 percent, he said.
Zimbabwe plans to seize more farmsfor deportees from South Africa (Harare, Sapa-DPA, 15/10) - PresidentRobert Mugabe's government plans to seize additional white farmsto resettle up to 15 000 Zimbabwean farmworkers being expelledfrom South Africa's northern province, an official said Monday.South Africa's director general of Home Affairs, Billy Masetlha,said the expulsions were being ordered to create jobs forunemployed South Africans. Zimbabwean state radio said the first400 deportees, ferried across the border in three trucks,complained of being left hungry and penniless by the SouthAfrican authorities. A broadcast said residents of the bordertown of Beitbridge reported an upsurge of housebreakings."They don't have money to get to their homes and say theywere abused when they were brought into Zimbabwe," said aZimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reporter, Freedom Moyo. Moyosaid the expulsions may be a South African Government conspiracyto "sabotage Zimbabwe's land reform" - the redistribute5 000 white owned farms, totalling 8.3 m hectares, to blackZimbabweans. An official also told the state-controlled dailynewspaper, The Herald: "If the South African Government goesahead with this unprecedented move, the Zimbabwe Government willgazette more farms to resettle these people. "When we dothat we do not expect anyone from South Africa to raise theirvoices." White farmers have made urgent application for aPretoria High Court injunction to stop expulsion of theiremployees, but the Zimbabwean official claimed: "It issurprising an African Government would do that to please a fewwhites.. this could mark a beginning of a furore against SouthAfrica and its whites." He said the expulsions "showedthe architects of apartheid were still alive and well in thatcountry" (South Africa). South African northern provincefarmers say dislocation of their traditional Zimbabwean labourforce will lead to a major drop in production as they havedifficulty recruiting reliable replacements among local people.
South Africa starts deportingZimbabwe's migrants (Harare, Mail & Guardian, 15/10) -
Court orders reprieve for Zimbabwefarmworkers (The Star, 15/10) - The more than 10 000Zimbabweans working on farms in the Limpopo Valley in NorthernProvince will remain there for the time being and will not bedeported or arrested. This follows an agreement on Monday betweenlegal counsel for the Department of Home Affairs and threefarmers' associations shortly before the Pretoria High Court wasdue to hear an urgent application on the situation. Theassociations represent about 5 500 farmers. The farmers wanted acourt order to compel the Home Affairs Department to withhold theexecution of its decision that the Zimbabwean workers be senthome by Monday to make way for local job opportunities. Thesettlement was made an order of court. The move followed earliersuggestions by Zimbabwean officials, as the first 400 of theworkers were trucked back over the Beitbridge border post, thatmore white-owned farms would be seized by the state toaccommodate them.
South African court suspends someZimbabwean expulsions (Pretoria, Reuters, 15/10) - ASouth African court Monday ordered a temporary halt to theexpulsion of some 5,500 Zimbabwean farm workers after the SouthAfrican government and farmers agreed to fresh talks on theirrepatriation. But a South African official said some 10,000Zimbabweans working on labor-intensive citrus and vegetable farmsstill had to leave the country by midnight Monday, or face arrestand deportation. Inspectors will begin checking 93 farms in theSoutpansberg area in Northern Province Tuesday that the 10,000Zimbabweans have been ordered to leave, said Leslie Mashokwe, aspokesman for the Home Affairs department. We will sendimmigration officials and labor inspectors to check on thesefarms and if need be, if force is needed, they have the backingof SANDF (the South African National Defense Force),Mashokwe told Reuters. The government, faced with soaringunemployment, reached a deal with farmers a year ago to createmore jobs for South Africans. But only 4,000 Zimbabweans haveleft the farms since then. The Zimbabweans, some of whom haveworked in Northern Province for years, say prospects back homeare bleak and they want to stay in South Africa. Zimbabwe isstruggling through a severe economic crisis worsened by theoccupation since last year of hundreds of white-owned farms byself-styled war veterans. The militants say they are supportingPresident Robert Mugabes controversial seizure ofwhite-owned farmland for redistribution to landless blacks. TheZimbabweans work on farms in three small communities near theborder town of Messina. Under the order of the court, itwas agreed...that there were other avenues that could be exploredon this matter. We will not expel Zimbabweans from that areayet, Mashokwe said. Three farmers associationsappealed to a Pretoria court on Monday to stop the expulsions.The farmers want to extend the work permits of their skilledZimbabwean workers by 90 days to give them time to train SouthAfricans. Home Affairs has opened an office in Messina to reviewthe permit applications. It is a victory because it showsthat these farmers associations want to address the problemand start developing local workers, said Hennie Erwee, alawyer representing the Messina-area farmers. The number ofcommercial farmers in South Africa has dropped to around 50,000from 130,000 about 30 years ago. Employment on farms has alsodropped sharply as the industry grapples with tough internationalcompetition from subsidised producers as well as free marketreforms since the end of apartheid in 1994.
Government reverses stance onforeigners in security industry (Cape Town, Sapa, 10/10) - Governmenton Wednesday reversed its controversial decision to ban foreigninvolvement in South Africa's private security industry followingwidespread lobbying by investors and political parties. Speakingafter meeting top executives of foreign companies who haveinvested heavily in the industry, Safety and Security MinisterSteve Tshwete said draft Security Industry Regulation legislationwould be changed so that no limits were placed on foreigninvestment. The meeting between Tshwete and the representativesof four of South Africa's largest, mainly foreign-owned securitycompanies -SecuricorGrey, Chubb, Group4Falck and Tyco/ADT Fireand Security - was the second in as many days to discuss theissue. Tshwete said the discussions had centred around two mainissues - the question of foreign investment in the industry, andwhether foreigners could hold directorships in the companiesinvolved. After exchanging viewpoints, all had agreed there wouldbe no limits on foreign investment. It had also been agreed thatonly South Africans would be allowed to hold directorships, butwith the proviso that the minister may confer it on non-SouthAfrican citizens if there were "reasonable grounds" todo so, Tshwete said. The National Assembly's safety and securitycommittee, which is currently dealing with the Security IndustryRegulation Bill, would effect the necessary amendments to thedraft legislation. The delegation had also repeated theircommitment to black economic empowerment in the industry. Themeetings had been positive, and he was very happy with theoutcome. "This is the best way... given the representationsmade," Tshwete said. A Group4Falck vice president, StephenBrown, said they were "very grateful" agreement hadbeen reached. His, and the other companies, as overseasinvestors, were committed to South Africa. Empowerment was avital part of the agenda for "those who invest in SouthAfrica", Brown said. Assembly committee chairman MlulekiGeorge, said he was also happy with the agreements reached,particularly the commitment to empowerment. On Tuesday, Tyco/ADTUnited Kingdom and Ireland managing director Alex McNutt said thegroup did not have a problem with the draft bill in general,which was positive, but only insofar as it affected "foreignrelationships", he said. The four companies have investedabout R3-billion in South Africa in the past two-and-a-half yearsalone. During the past few weeks, the ANC in the committee hasinsisted it wants absolutely no foreign involvement, includinginvestment, in the industry, despite dire warnings by oppositionparties of lost jobs and investment. In a statement on Wednesdayevening, Democratic Alliance spokesman Andre Gaum said is was"heart-warming to see that Minister Steve Tshwete has cometo his senses after sound arguments has been presented to him byforeign investors and the Democratic Alliance". The logicbehind the ANC's "ludicrous plan" was flawed from theword go and clearly not thought through. "Today'sdevelopment is testimony to what can be achieved throughconstructive and effective opposition, and the DA will continueto play this role in Parliament in future. "We hope thedamage that has been done to South Africa's credibility as aninvestment destination will be limited," Gaum said.
Zimbabweans ordered to leave(Johannesburg, Business Day, 10/10) - The SAgovernment has ordered about 15000 Zimbabweans working on farmsalong the SA-Zimbabwe border in Northern Province to leave SA byMonday next week. They have been accused as they are of takingover work that could be done by South Africans. Home affairsspokesman Leslie Mashokwe said yesterday that only people who hadbeen in the country for more than five years and those withskills that could not be found in SA would be allowed a 90-day"grace" period to argue their cases. Farmers would haveto motivate on an individual case-bycase basis why a specificworker should be allowed to stay. In that case they should alsohave to show how that foreigner would transfer his or her skillsto South Africans over a period of time. Reacting, Harareresponded by saying it was concerned that people who werelawfully allowed into the country were now being hastily"flashed out". It said it would understand thedeportation of illegal immigrants but not those who entered SAlegally. in terms of its laws. Harare said While Pretoriareserved its right to take decisions on matters happening withinits territory, it SA should be careful not to be seen as"harassing" people for no other reason other than thatthey were foreigners from Zimbabwe. Harare said it was worriedabout the alleged harassment of its nationals in SA farms andcities. Home affairs director-general Billy Masetla. Aftermeeting farmers and Northern Province government representativesyesterday, home affairs director-general Billy Masetlha said thatthe farmers would have to arrange for the workers to return toZimbabwe by Monday. "Last year on October 15 we signed anagreement for a year-long programme to phase out this employment.We believe the farmers should start employing South Africans. TheNorthern Province has a big problem with unemployment andpoverty," he said. Responding to perceptions that locals didnot want to work for low wages, Mashokwe said: "We aresaying farmers should give them a living wage." He said theintergovernmental task force which consists of the departments oflabour, home affairs, the police and the defence force wouldstart deporting the Zimbabweans on Monday. "We will also betargeting farmers who employ illegal immigrants. If found, theywill have to pay a fine and pay for the deportation of theconcerned people," said Mashokwe.
New twist in Immigration Bill debacle(Cape Town, Business Day, 10/10) - The immigrationbill was once again shrouded in controversy yesterday, withParliament's home affairs portfolio committee referring it to thestate law advisers to determine whether it was certified.Committee chairman Aubrey Mokoena warned that the whole processof public hearings and consultation could start afresh if the lawadvisers ruled that the bill was not certified. However, NationalAssembly Speaker Frene Ginwala ruled however, that this was notnecessary. Ginwala told reporters at a press conference that HomeAffairs Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi had alerted her office to aclause in the constitution which stated that bills did notnecessarily need certification. "We are grateful to MinisterButhelezi who brought to our attention the fact that bills do notnecessarily need to be certified," Ginwala said. She saidthe Joint Tagging Committee referred the bill to its home affairscounterpart as soon as it had finished tagging it. This was afterButhelezi was instructed to amend it in a way that it did notrequire SA firms which employed employers of foreigners to pay alevy. or tax. Ginwala's announcement means that Mokoena'scommittee may no longer require the state law adviser's opinion.But this will become clear when the committee meets again. TheMPs in the committee also discussed the contentious then turnedto the hot issue of involving employment status of home affairsdirector-general Billy Masetlha. Ginwala has written a letter toMokoena saying he could only request the Public ServiceCommission (PSC) (PSC) to investigate whether Masetlha had signedan employment contract only through the National Assembly."The portfolio committee cannot ask an outside body toinvestigate a matter without doing this through Parliament,"Ginwala said. She noted, however, that the portfolio committeehad the right to practise its oversight role by calling uponMasetlha to come and explain his contractual status. Earlier inthe meeting, Mokoena had vehemently opposed any suggestions fromthe opposition that Masetlha, Buthelezi and public service andadministration director-general Robinson Ramaite be summoned toexplain Masetlha's contract. "Let us not be judgmental andcast aspersions on the director-general; let's just wait for thePSC to conduct its investigation," he said. Mokoena rejectedsuggestions from opposition MPs that the committee exercise itsconstitutional oversight role and call Masetlha. rather thandelegate the PSC to do this. At one point, Democratic Party MPMike Waters suggested that the impasse be resolved by committeemembers casting a vote. Mokoena rejected this tool: "No . .. no . . . honourable member don't go there. Don't play thedangerous game of majoritarianism . . . I will fightmajoritarianism wherever I see it." New National Party MPFranscois Beukman welcomed Ginwala's ruling that the committeehad the right to exercise its powers to summon Masetlha and anymember of the executive. "(We) welcome the statement by theSpeaker that the immigration bill, before the portfolio committeeon home affairs, is constitutional and certified in terms of therules. "The statement by the Speaker is in direct contrastto the decision and approach of the chairperson of the portfoliocommittee, Mr Mokoena, to canvass additional advice on thecertification of the bill," Beukman said. Beukman accusedMokoena of using "delaying tactics" to stall theimmigration bill, but Mokoena refuted jected the allegation bysaying that on grounds that he was merely following theconstitution and parliamentary procedures.
Opposition MPs wantButhelezi/Masetlha feud probed (Parliament, Sapa, 09/10) - OppositionMPs want Home Affairs Minister Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi and hisdirector-general Billy Masetlha to appear before a parliamentarycommittee about their deteriorating relationship. This is in thelight of the latest replies by Buthelezi to parliamentaryquestions from the Democratic Alliance's Mike Waters in which theminister said he was considering claiming legal costs fromMasetlha, for ignoring advice and involving the department in atleast two unnecessary lawsuits. In another reply to AfricanChristian Democratic Party MP Kenneth Meshoe, Buthelezi revealedthe extent of the breakdown in his working relationship withMasetlha, whom he wants redeployed elsewhere in government.Buthelezi is the Inkatha Freedom Party president, and Masetlha, aformer ANC intelligence sector-general of the South AfricanSecret Service. On Tuesday, DA MPs in the National Assembly'shome affairs committee backed by the IFP and the UDM supported acall for Buthelezi and Masetlha to appear before them. However,committee chairman Aubrey Mokoena (ANC) stalled the requestsaying the matter should be discussed next week after parties hadan opportunity to acquaint themselves with Buthelezi's replies.Buthelezi has also previously alleged that Masetlha has not had avalid contract since June, and has petitioned President ThaboMbeki and the committee to intervene. Backed by legal opinion,Buthelezi says he believes that the Masetlha has therefore beenacting illegally with implications for public finance management.Buthelezi said he informed Mbeki - before the expiry ofMasetlha's contract - that "a breach in the necessaryrelation of trust" between the executive authority and thehead of department had occurred. He said Cabinet was informed ofhis talks with Mbeki, and it was agreed Masetlha's contract wouldbe extended for a year, on condition the director-general wasimmediately redeployed elsewhere. However, Masetlha had declinedto sign the new contract in June in which these conditions wereoutlined, Buthelezi said. Masetlha insists he has a validcontract in that it was extended for a year by Cabinet. Thecommittee, which has previously asked the Public ServiceCommission to look into the matter, received a letter on Tuesdayfrom National Assembly Speaker Dr Frene Ginwala who said itshould first table a report to this effect in the House. The DA'sFrancois Beukman backed by Waters said the committee would befailing in its oversight role if it failed to call thedirector-general and even the minister to appear before it on thematter, before reporting to Parliament. Beukman said there weredaily news reports about the pair's deteriorating relationship."It can't go on like this." Waters said committeemembers would look like clowns if they failed to invite Masetlhaand proceeded to report to Parliament regardless. Mokoena,however, declined to entertain the request saying it wasunnecessary and that the PSC route was the best way to go. Herefused a request for a vote on the matter. Undeterred Beukmanthen raised Buthelezi's replies to Waters' questions and askedthat the minister and director-general be called to appear beforethe committee. "There is a big problem in the relationshipbetween the minister and the director-general." Masetlhatold reporters in Pretoria last week that his contract was validand tried to dismiss rumours that he would head the newpresidential intelligence unit. "I have been deployed tothis department. I am going nowhere, I have a lot work to dohere. I intend to stay until all this work is finished." Hedismissed claims that there was a breakdown of communicationbetween himself and Buthelezi. "In every action I take Iinform the minister. Contrary to media reports that there is amiscommunication between us, Mr Buthelezi has rubber-stamped myactions ..."
Court can't declare fees for alienspouses unconstitutional (Johannesburg, Sapa, 08/10) - TheConstitutional Court on Monday ruled that the payment of fees bythe alien spouses of South African residents for permits allowingthem to stay or work in the country, could not be declaredunconstitutional. In a unanimously supported judgment, ActingJudge Thembile Skweyiya said this was because the payment of suchfees was subject to regulations, and not an Act. According to theConstitution, the Supreme Court of Appeal or the High Court couldonly rule on the constitutionality of an Act of Parliament, aprovincial Act or any conduct of the President. That order thenhad to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court."...Ministers exercise no more than subordinate, delegatedauthority when they make regulations in terms of Acts ofParliament or perform other ministerial duties," Skweyiyasaid. "Accordingly, regulations are not Acts of Parliamentand their validity is not subject to confirmation by thisCourt." The judge dismissed an application by the HomeAffairs Minister to confirm an order made by the JohannesburgHigh Court earlier. The matter related to an application to theHigh Court by Dominique Liebenberg, a South African citizen whomarried a Senegalese man in June 2000. He had entered SouthAfrica on his Senegalese passport in 1997. He sought politicalasylum and was in 1998 granted a temporary permit and allowed tobe employed under certain conditions. After the wedding, he losthis Senegalese passport. Liebenberg applied on his behalf to theHome Affairs department's Johannesburg regional office for atemporary residence permit. "Apparently, this applicationwas made to enable the husband to remain in South Africa pendingan application for an immigration permit..." theConstitutional Court judgment said. "The application wasrefused on the basis that (Liebenberg's) husband, having lost hispassport, had no legal status to remain in South Africa."According to Liebenberg, a Home Affairs official told her that inorder for her husband to remain in South Africa, she would haveto replace his passport and pay fees totalling R1970 for certainpermits. Liebenberg subsequently approached the Johannesburg HighCourt, challenging the need to pay the fees. The department didnot oppose her application. Instead, it undertook to issue atemporary residence permit to the husband, provided that heapplied for a new Senegalese passport within six months. Thedepartment also undertook to facilitate his movements betweenSenegal and South Africa for the purpose of getting a newpassport. The Johannesburg High Court ordered that the temporaryresidence permit be granted without the payment of fees. Itdeclared that no such fees, payable in terms of the AliensControl Regulations, should be applicable to alien spouses anddependent children of people who are lawfully and permanentlyresident in South Africa. The High Court said the Minister andParliament should correct the constitutional inconsistency thatalien spouses married to South African citizens or residentscould not be allowed to work, seek work, study, undergo medicaltreatment or conduct business in the country without a temporaryresidence permit for which they had paid the necessary fees. Suchrequirement was inconsistent with various sections of theConstitution and therefore invalid, the order stated. JudgeSkweyiya said the order made by the High Court was almost in itsentirety a verbatim repetition of part of Liebenberg's plea, andalso mirrored its defects. "The order was probably grantedin circumstances of great pressure, as prevail in the motiondivision of the High Court in question, without the partiesapparently being aware of the obscurities in the agreed draftorder, or bringing them to the attention of the court. "Thisis all regrettable, as an order issued by a court 'binds allpersons to whom and organs of state to which it applies'."It is particularly important that, where orders invalidatelegislation, such orders be specific." He said where a courtmade a declaration of invalidity in terms of the Constitution,such an order should clearly indicate precisely what Act ofParliament, or provisions thereof, what provincial Act orprovisions thereof, or what conduct of the President, was beingdeclared constitutionally invalid.
Cat-and-mouse game at Home Affairs(Johannesburg, Business Day, 05/10) - From the word gothere was a war of words between Buthelezi and Masetlha. The warof words between Home Affairs Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi andhis director-general, Billy Masetlha, began as soon as Masetlhatook up the post early last year. It has worsened to the extentthat the department has been unable to carry out its mainfunctions, including immigration control and implementing laws.Collapsing border-control systems and lack of staff capacity havebeen Buthelezi's song in every budget speech in Parliament. Theminister insists that Masetlha has not even signed a performancecontract. Should Buthelezi's claims be true, it would mean thatall financial spending Masetlha authorised as the head ofdepartment is illegal. Parliament's portfolio committee chairman,Aubrey Mokoena, has asked the Public Service Commission to checkMasetlha's employment status. Mokoena has complained severaltimes that tension between Masetlha and Buthelezi affects thedepartment's work, seriously affecting the committee. Last yearthe committee invited Masetlha to make a presentation on theimmigration bill. He did not arrive, and wrote a letter toapologise and say Buthelezi told him not to attend the meeting.Although he held the committee in high esteem, "it would notbe in anyone's interests to undermine the minister", hesaid. Buthelezi instead sent home affairs deputy director-generalIvan Lambinon to the meeting, prompting Mokoena to remarkangrily: "I am not mincing my words, if we order ahamburger, we do not expect a hot dog. As a portfolio committeewe know what we are doing and expect no interference fromPretoria." The constitution empowers parliamentarycommittees to summon individuals and institutions to giveevidence or produce documents under oath. Buthelezi's behaviourwas seen as a direct infringement on the separation of powers,which allows Parliament to exercise its oversight functionwithout interference from the executive. In another incident, thecommittee invited Masetlha to address it on the immigration bill.Buthelezi arrived uninvited, saying there was no need forMasetlha to make the presentation as he was not present when thewhite paper on international migration was drafted. WhileMasetlha still insists that he has signed an employment contractwith the department, Buthelezi wrote to President Thabo Mbekilast month, urging him to intervene. Now he will not discuss thesubject, saying it was "highly sensitive". Buthelezisaid in a recent letter to Business Day that he forwarded asigned contractual offer to Masetlha on June 23, after Mbekipersuaded him to, but Masetlha failed to countersign it. "Hehas not signed it since then and has sat on it since then."Masetlha's term at the department expired on June 20. This week,Buthelezi told Parliament he was shocked to read in Business Daythat Masetlha issued a circular ordering authorities at SA borderposts to either turn back or detain asylum seekers trying toenter the country. Buthelezi said he wrote to Masetlha, askinghim to provide details of the circular, but there was noresponse. Masetlha says he informed Buthelezi beforehand. Headmitted issuing the circular after the UN High Commission forRefugees warned of "irregular movement" of refugeesfrom one country to another. "We have nothing against peopleseeking asylum in SA, but this they must do through properchannels." Buthelezi distanced himself from Masetlha'scircular. Sources close to Buthelezi say he is unhappy about theway the African National Congress-led government has treated him.He recently told the portfolio committee he did not understandwhy he was treated "suspiciously" as he was "justa loyal civil servant", not pushing his Inkatha FreedomParty's agenda. His former deputy, Lindiwe Sisulu, recentlybecame intelligence minister, replaced by another ANCheavyweight, Charles Nqakula. Masetlha is a former ANCintelligence operative. The cabinet shot down Buthelezi's recentbid to establish an independent immigration service board, withspecial powers to handle immigration matters, on grounds that itshould fall directly under the public service. It is not yetclear whether Buthelezi will let Masetlha make his long-overduepresentation. Mokoena accepts that Buthelezi's special adviser,Mario Ambrosini, will always be part of the committee, listeninglest the chairman libels his principal.
Xenophobic thugs roam Zandspruit(Johannesburg, Mail & Guardian, 05/10) - Residentsin Zandspruit, an informal settlement in Honeydew north ofJohannesburg, are living in fear after marauding hoodlums went onthe rampage and assaulted "foreigners". According toresidents the attack followed a brawl at a shebeen where aXhosa-speaking man was allegedly shot by a man of Zimbabweanorigin. Other Xhosa-speaking residents then launched"vengeance attacks", severely beating people who do notspeak their language, destroying property and burning shacks.South African-born people were also victimised. Alleta Moyo'sshack was petrol-bombed. "I saw it coming. On Friday theypelted my shack with stones. Just when I thought we survived,they struck again on Monday morning and threw petrol-bombs,"she said. Moyo and her family escaped without injuries. Shebelieves she was attacked because she is married to a Zimbabwean,who has lived in South Africa since 1960. "My husband hasbeen in this country since then and I believe he qualifies forcitizenship," she says. Her husband - one of the founders ofthe Zandspruit settlement - is in hospital following a severebeating at the hands of the gang, Moyo says. "I amshattered, this was not only a home, I also ran a spaza shop. Ihave nothing left, I mean nothing. These clothes on my back areall I have." Moyo has reported the arson to the police, butsays they told her there is insufficient evidence and they willnot be investigating. There is a widespread feeling at Zandspruitthat police are not doing enough to stem the violence. Residentsclaim officers at Honeydew police station are colluding with theleader of the gang responsible for the attacks on foreigners.However, a spokesman for the Honeydew police station says:"It is not true that police are colluding with certainindividuals, nor is it true that police are taking sides as faras this matter is concerned. We have deployed more policemen inthe area on a 24-hour basis to ensure safety and security of theresidents. "Victims are being contacted and possible leadsare being followed with a possibility of making arrests. Casesare still under investigation."
Zimbabwean workers face eviction(Pontdrift, Sapa, 04/10) - Defence Minister MosiuoaLekota on Thursday heard that more than 10,000 Zimbabweansworking on farms in the Limpopo Valley in the Northern Provincewould soon be prohibited from doing so. General-Major Tinus vanRensburg, general officer commanding of the Joint Regional TaskForce North of the SA National Defence Force, told Lekota thisduring the minister's visit to Pontdrift operational base nearthe Botswana border, about 100km west of Messina. Van Rensburgsaid the Home Affairs Department had decreed that theZimbabweans' work permits would no longer be valid after October15. "Unless this decree is reconsidered, there will be majorproblems," he said. The Zimbabweans would find it difficultto return to their own country. Some of them might go to Gautengto find work, while others could turn to crime. There was proofalready of foreigners being involved in farm attacks, VanRensburg said. Northern Province premier Ngoako Ramatlhodi woulddiscuss the matter with roleplayers next Tuesday. Lekotaundertook to discuss this with Ramatlhodi and his Cabinetcolleagues. He said it was important to get recommendations fromthe farming community on how to manage the situation.
Home Affairs probing 166 claims of"green card" marriages (Pretoria, Sapa, 03/10) - TheHome Affairs Department is probing 166 complaints from people whoclaim to have been fraudulently married, without their knowledge,to foreigners seeking South African citizenship. The department'sdirector-general Billy Masetlha told reporters in Pretoria onWednesday that the complaints were lodged with the department'smarriage section since the matter became prevalent just more thana year ago. "Foreigners involved in these marriages appearto be from a variety of countries and no trend isprevalent," he said. Employment agencies and crimesyndicates have been linked to the scam. Masetlha said hisdepartment has been co-operating with other governmentdepartments to eradicate the problem. "We are workingclosely with the Justice Department to help victims of thesescams terminate these marriages." For its part, the LabourDepartment was scrutinising the registration of employmentagencies to weed out corrupt practices, Masetlha said.
Porous borders facilitate smuggling,claims ISS (UN Integrated Regional Information Network, 04/10) - Laxborder controls allowed people and goods to be smuggled acrossSouth Africa's international frontiers at will, according to thePretoria-based Institute for Security Studies (ISS). "Itseems that South Africa's international land border lines areopen to whoever wants to enter or leave with illegal goods,including firearms, without being detected or brought to book forthese illegal actions," said Ettienne Hennop, researcher forthe arms management programme at the ISS and author of a reporton the borders released on Monday. He said border posts were 50percent understaffed. But a main obstacle to effective controlwas lack of communication between police and army units. SouthAfrica loses billions of rand a year in uncollected duties as aresult of illegal imports, the report said. In 1999, the policeseized 1,053 stolen vehicles, 266 illegal firearms, 30,000 kg ofcannabis and 1.5 million Mandrax pills. They also arrested 40,000illegal immigrants. The army is estimated to have arrested doublethat number. The flow of illegal immigrants, which peaked in1998, has not let up this year. With food shortages forecast inZimbabwe, South Africa expects an increased flow of illegal"border jumpers" from the north. Since 1994, thegovernment has reduced the number of police and soldiers on itsborders, the report noted. About 1,750 soldiers are deployedagainst 3,752 seven years ago, to prevent the illegal flow ofpeople, vehicles, arms and drugs, in support of a decliningnumber of police officers. According to the report, syndicatestake advantage of the chaos at border posts to smuggle infirearms originating from Mozambique and Angola. Research by theISS showed that border posts often lacked basic facilities suchas electricity supply, living quarters, storage areas andtransport. Although the government, with the help ofinternational agencies, is trying to improve border control, thereport said the government was falling short of its goals ofbetter regulation.
MPs informed of Buthelezi/Masetlhabreakdown (Parliament, Sapa, 02/10) - Home AffairsMinister Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi has disclosed in Parliament theextent of the breakdown in his working relationship with hisdirector general Bill Masetlha, whom he wants re-deployedelsewhere in government. In written reply to Reverend KennethMeshoe (ACDP) on Tuesday, Buthelezi said a controversial circularon asylum seekers had been authorised and issued by Masetlhawithout his knowledge. Masetlha, a former senior African NationalCongress intelligence operative and director general of the SouthAfrican Secret Services, has been at loggerheads with Butheleziover several issues, including the Immigration Bill. Buthelezi -who is also the IFP president - said he was shocked when he readan article in the Business Day on April 23 that borderauthorities were detaining or turning back asylum seekers.Buthelezi said he immediately replied to the newspaper and copiedhis letter to Masetlha in order for him to take remedial steps.However, nearly five months down the line he had yet to receive aresponse. "I have not had a reply from the director generalto my letter. However, I did notice in the Sowetan of May 10 thatthe Pretoria High Court instructed the department to withdraw thecircular." Buthelezi alleges that Masetlha has not had avalid contract since June and has petitioned President ThaboMbeki and Parliament's home affairs committee to intervene. Hehas also forwarded legal opinion from senior counsel supportinghis view that Masetlha's actions - since the expiry of hisoriginal five-year contract in June - is illegal. Buthelezi haspreviously told Sapa he informed Mbeki - before the expiry ofMasetlha's contract - that "a breach in the necessaryrelation of trust between the executive authority and the head ofdepartment" had occurred. He said Cabinet was informed ofhis talks with Mbeki, and it was agreed Masetlha's contract wouldbe extended for a year, on condition the director general wasimmediately redeployed elsewhere. However, Masetlha has declinedto sign the new contract in which these conditions were outlined.Meanwhile, Parliament's public accounts committee (Scopa) onTuesday put off its discussion on the status of Masetlha'semployment contract as its chairman Dr Gavin Woods was away.Woods, who has been central to the committee's deliberations onthe issue, was out of town on other business. Bruce Kannemeyer,African National Congress MP and head of the Scopa sub-grouplooking into the department's affairs, said it was unfair toaddress the issue without Woods' involvement. The DemocraticAlliance's Raenette Taljaard agreed that the discussion bepostponed, on the condition that members acknowledged the issuewas critical and had to be dealt with as soon as possible."This is a very serious matter... if unresolved, any of theactions taken by the Department of Home Affairs could be leftopen to legal challenge," she said. - Masetlha has beentipped to head the four-man new Presidential Intelligence Unitexpected to begin work some time this month.
Controversial Immigration Billre-introduced to Parliament (Parliament, Sapa, 01/10) - Thecontroversial Immigration Bill was reintroduced in Parliament onMonday as an ordinary bill after a last-minute change to staveoff threatened legal action by Home Affairs Minister MangosuthuButhelezi. The bill which has taken at least four years to betabled and has pitted the minister against African NationalCongress officials, including his director-general Bill Masetlha,can finally be processed. It is aimed, among other things, atattracting skilled foreigners to the country. The measure wasoriginally tabled by Buthelezi but was classified by Parliament'spresiding officers as a money bill which in terms of theConstitution can only be introduced by the Finance Minister.Buthelezi - armed with legal opinion from three legal counselthat the bill was not a money bill - threatened to take NationalAssembly Speaker Dr Frene Ginwala to the Constitutional Court toensure his department piloted the measure through Parliament. Thepotentially damaging row was averted after the ministry last weektabled a compromise technical amendment, the so-called Gauntlettprovision, drafted by senior counsel Jeremy Gauntlett. The bill'smemorandum states: "Notwithstanding the opinion of theMinister of Home Affairs that such classification (as a moneybill) was erroneous, the Bill has been corrected by an amendmentto clause 12 of the Bill as originally introduced and has beenreintroduced in terms of Joint Rule 162". The original billprovides for an employer wishing to employ a foreigner to pay"an amount prescribed from time to time as a ratio of suchforeigner's remuneration, to be shown in the training fund".The corrected bill provides for an employer to pay "afee". The memorandum also states that the Bill'simplementation will be staggered over three to four years.
Dispute over Immigration Bill set tocontinue (Cape Town, Business Day, 02/10) - Thedispute between Home Affairs Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi andNational Assembly Speaker Frene Ginwala over the controversialImmigration Bill appears to be far from over. New amendments tothe bill, tabled in Parliament yesterday, merely substitute"levy" with "fee" and the bill still providesfor employers of foreigners to pay for a "trainingfund". There are doubts about the constitutionality of thebill and Parliament's joint tagging committee will soon have todetermine whether the bill can be introduced by Buthelezi or thetreasury department. Ordinary "principle" legislationmay not include provisions imposing a tax or levy. This meansthat the bill can deal only with the exit and entry of people atSA borders. In 1998 the tagging committee rejected the MedicalSchemes Bill, introduced by the health minister, because itprovided for the payment of levies by medical aid schemes. Theoriginal Medical Schemes Bill was then divided into two, with thesecond one called the Council for Medical Schemes Levies Bill.Buthelezi warned recently he would go to the Constitutional Courtif Parliament rejected the Immigration Bill on the grounds thatit was a money bill. "I have done everything I can to seethe bill through Parliament and as far as I am concerned there isnothing wrong with it," he said. The bill has been dogged bypolitical tension since its inception more than four years ago.Buthelezi once described the process through which his bill hadgone as being filled with "subterfuge, ambush andtrickery". Parliament's home affairs committee chairmanAubrey Mokoena hinted last week at a looming political stormbetween Buthelezi and Ginwala. "The minister has paintedhimself into a corner, he has imposed an ultimatum on the Speakerof Parliament he is using the constitution to fight theconstitution," Mokoena said. If the joint tagging committeerejects the bill, it means the whole process of consultation andpublic hearing may have to be started afresh. SA currently relieson the apartheid-era Aliens Control Act. The private sector hascomplained about the lack of legislation, saying this hasaffected the recruitment of much-needed skilled foreign labour.
14 illegally registered for theSiteki elections (Siteki, Swazi Times, 02/10) - Fourteenpeople were found to have illegally registered to participate inthe local government elections in Siteki town. However, they werequickly noted by residents and were removed from the votersroll. According to the returning officer in Siteki. SibusisoKunene his office received 30 names that were suspected to benon-residents, but 16 were cleared after investigations. Kunenewas responding to allegations by candidates of Ward 6 in Sitekiwho at their meeting held at Mpuiualanga over weekend, resolvedthat minister of housing and urban development. Albert Shabangu.should nullify urban authority elections on allegations ofrigging and irregularities during the process last month. Thecommunity meeting was aimed at reviewing how the elections faredand how best the community and the town council could co-operatefor the development of the area. They expressed dissatisfactionover a certain examiner whom they alleged was assisted bynon-residents to win the elections. They said despite lodgingprotest before elections, authorities did nothing to investigateand correct the situation. It was further submitted that a numberof people who were not residents were caught with forged votercertificates and the matter was reported to the authorities, butnothing was done. One of the candidates. Tito Khumalo, arguedthat it was important for the community to contribute towardstheir legal fees because he was going to work for the developmentof the area.
Great Lakes predicted to produce more refugees (Dar esSalaam, TOMRIC News Agency, 22/10) - Given thepersistent political and military instability in the Great Lakesregion, especially in Burundi and the Democratic Republic ofCongo (DRC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR) expect to receive more refugee in Tanzania. A UNHCRspokesman has told the Daily News here that new refugee siteswill be needed to accommodate refugees from the two countries asthe existing camps in Tanzania have been filled to capacity. Hehas told the publication that the UNHCR is looking for suitablesites in Kigoma Region western Tanzania to establish camps forrefugees entering the country from Burundi and the DRC. He said,however, that no suitable site had been identified in Kigomawhere more than two thirds of the over 500,000-registered refugeepopulation in the country is concentrated. By the end of Augustthis year, the UNHCR was taking care of over 540,000 refugees whowere accommodated in camps in various parts of the country. UNHCRcould not implement large repatriation of refugees due tounstable situation in DRC and Burundi. So far, about 70 percentof refugees being handled by UNHCR, are Burundians. A tripartiteagreement signed last May by UNHCR with the governments ofTanzania and Burundi, set out modalities and framework of therepatriation exercise. According to the agency, as for theRwandan refugees, there is no discernible interest among themajority of them to repatriate while a number of Congoleserefugees had expressed the desire to return home, but continuingconflict had inhibited any facilitation of voluntaryrepatriation.
Tanzania expels Ugandans (Kampala, The Monitor,21/10)- No wonder our charge toward the East African Communityis full of potholes. The Tanzanian government has given some 70Ugandans who have been living in the north of that country just afew days to leave. A document issued to Ugandans living inKaragwe and Bukoba districts were told that they had only sevendays to leave the country under the 1972 Tanzania Immigration Act(See Ugandans given Seven Days To Leave Tanzania, The MonitorOctober 20). An action such as this is punitive, unnecessary andagainst the spirit of Africanness and especially EACco-operation. For the longest time, Tanzania has been a verywilling host for thousands of refugees escaping conflict inBurundi, Rwanda, the DR Congo and even Uganda during the days ofIdi Amin. That was the spirit engendered by the late Tanzanianleader Julius Nyerere. Today, that spirit seems to be waning. Ofcourse matters have not been helped that some of the refugeeshave turned the country of their refugee into a striking base forattacks against the countries they have escaped from. Added tothe enormous economic burden that refugees place on a country,it's possible it see why the Tanzanians have become morehard-line. However, the East African Community, which Uganda,Tanzania and Kenya seem to be very keen to revive, will betotally lost to the winds if a simple issue like a few hundredpeople who have settled around the border with a few shacks andcattle are ordered to pack their bags and head home. Kenya alsoused to pull such stunts, especially when its government hadproblems with the NRM regime. But it's the people whose lives aredisrupted for no reason who will be most affected and who shouldbe thought of. As a region, East Africa needs to rise above thepettiness of borders which were after all not created by us, andconcentrate on building a viable economic unit that can competein this increasingly globalised world, where North Americans aretrading as a block; Europeans as a block and Asians vote asblock. Chasing cattle keepers across borders is not one way ofgetting there.
Tanzanian refugees cross into Somalia (Mogadishu, TheMonitor, 09/10) - More than 100 Tanzanian refugees havemade their way into Mogadishu after travelling nearly a week vialand from the Kenyan border. The 105 refugees, who escaped fromthe refugee camps in Kenya, are mainly young men but there arealso three women and two children. The refugees said they havefled the Kenyan refugee camps after suffering from malnutrition,insecurity and other environmental difficulties.
Immigration confiscates foreign investor's passport atairport (Dar es Salaam, TOMRIC News Agency, 05/10) - Immigrationwas on Wednesday forced to confiscate travel's documents of theExecutive Director of the Tanzanian-Italian Petroleum Refinery(TIPER), Mr. Jean-Jacques Jung at the Dar Es Salaam InternationalAirport (DIA) being a move to make him participate to curb thewrangle on terminal benefits for the ex-workers. Involved areover 280 ex-workers of the refinery who demand payments of theirterminal benefits and the management of the new company onanother part. Jung was arrested at the DIA on Wednesday when hewas about to leave for Geneva before handing over importantdocuments related to the payment of terminal benefits to theformer employees of the company. Explaining on the confiscationof Jung's travel documents, the Minister for Minerals and EnergyEdgar Maokola-Majogo had said that the investor would remain incustody until he surrenders the documents. This follows adecision by the Ministry to instruct TIPER that the Ministry ofFinance would carry out payments of terminal benefits. However,TIPER wanted to get a written guarantee from the Ministry ofFinance before the company could pay the workers their insurancebenefits. It was alleged that Jung had attempted to leave thecountry without handing over the schedule of payments to thegovernment. A move aimed at blocking the release of theretirement benefits of the former workers amounting to Tshs2.5billion. Since TIPER did not want to release the paymentdocuments, we told their boss that he couldn't have his traveldocuments until he returns what is rightful, Edgar had told themedia. He said he had sought the assistance of the Ministry ofHome Affairs to have immigration officials at the airport toblock Mr. Jung from leaving the country without releasing thedocuments. Jung yesterday surrendered yesterday the schedule ofpayments for the former workers to the government. Last weekTIPER'S management was locked in and one of the victims, DavidSpencer, the British investor; was reported on hunger strikeafter having spent two days in the company premises. Ex-workerscontrolled the gates. Apart from Spencer, other senior managerswho spent two days inside the company buildings includedAdministrative Coordinator, Operations Manager and AdministrativeManager. However, the victims were released thereafter followingan agreement between the management and workers on the paymentschedule for terminal benefits. TIPER had retrenched its workersdue to the economic factors as Tanzania is reforming thepetroleum sector. Under the new system, private companies arepermitted to import and distribute final oils, hence reducingclients of TIPER. TIPER used to be the sole refinery plant inTanzania. TIPER had failed to pay terminal benefits despitehaving issued a Tshs2.5 billion check to effect such payments.The difficulties arose partly due to the decision of TanzaniaRevenue Authority to claim about Tshs600 million in taxes. This,according to the management reduced the money for retrenches.
WFR faces food supply gap for Angolanrefugees (Johannesburg, UN Integrated Regional InformationNetworks, 25/10) - As the UN's World Food Programme(WFP) rushes relief supplies to western Zambia to aid an influxof Angolan refugees, the agency warned that its food stocks inZambia were under pressure. With a United States cereal donationonly due in the country in mid-January, WFP's Deputy CountryRepresentative Jorge Fanlo Martin told IRIN on Thursday that theagency "urgently" needed US $820,000 to purchase 2,000mt of cereals to cover a two-month supply gap. Martin said thearrival of some 4,000 Angolan refugees last week fleeing renewedfighting in southeastern Angola had "added to ourproblems". Nevertheless, WFP was ferrying food to thenewcomers temporarily settled at the refugee camp of Nangweshi,140 km from the Angolan border, in what Martin described as a"truck-to-mouth operation". The fresh fighting ineastern Angola has followed a similar pattern over the past twoyears, in which government forces (FAA) have tried to consolidatetheir position against UNITA rebels ahead of the rainy season.However, according to one Johannesburg-based security analyst,the FAA this time believe they have trapped senior members of theUNITA leadership close to the Zambian border. If that proves tobe the case, he pointed out, the situation would become"problematic" if UNITA was forced to cross into Zambia,a country that has tried to distance itself from Angola'slong-running civil war.
Kavindele, Tembo citizenship conflictcontinues (Lusaka, The Post, 22/10) - I pointed outthe stupidity of declaring Dr. Kenneth Kaunda a foreigner at theexpense of being dismissed from cabinet, said RepublicanVice-President Enoch Kavindele yesterday. And opposition Forumfor Democracy and Development (FDD) president Lieutenant GeneralChriston Tembo has castigated the continued aspersions byVice-President Kavindele that he was a foreigner describing it asplain stupidity. Reacting to Lt. Gen. Tembo's charges during aninterview with Pan African News Agency last week thatVice-President Kavindele was an Angolan and had dealings withrebel UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi, he said it was Lt. Gen. Tembowho had greatly supported the controversial citizenship clauseand now was scared he would be barred from contesting theRepublican presidency. "At the expense of being dismissedand I was eventually dismissed from cabinet, I stood my groundand lobbied colleagues without success," Vice-PresidentKavindele said. "I pointed out the stupidity of declaringDr. Kaunda, who ruled for 27 years a foreigner."Vice-President Kavindele said the only lesson that could be bornefrom Lt. Gen. Tembo's experience now is that political leadersmust never be tempted to pass legislation that disadvantagesothers "for there is a likelihood of them being caught up intheir own mess". Vice-President Kavindele said he has alwaysbeen opposed to the clause which, however, Lt. Gen. Tembo then asleader of the House fully supported and helped pass. "At thetime of the debate of this law in various parties, governmentfora and eventually Parliament I pointed out the dangers inpassing the citizenship law," Vice-President Kavindele said."I pointed out that the law disadvantaged many of our mosttalented citizens who may have one non-Zambian parent. I arguedthat a good number of Zambians had studied abroad and returnedhome with foreign spouses, especially wives and this law would beagainst children born out of such marriages but I wasignored." Vice-President Kavindele said Lt. Gen. Tembo wouldonly have himself to blame for being barred to run for Republicanpresidency for "enthusiastically participating in theenactment of a draconian law which saw former president Kaundabarred from the 1996 elections." Vice-President Kavindelesaid unlike Lt. Gen. Tembo, he was very much Zambian and notAngolan as alleged. He further dismissed as blatant, maliciousand unfounded allegations about having dealings with rebel UNITAleader Jonas Savimbi. "Three years ago, I offered US$50,000to anyone anywhere in the world who had evidence that I tradedwith Savimbi, and the offer still stands," Vice-PresidentKavindele said. "Lt. Gen. Tembo, B.Y. Mwila, V.J. Mwaanga,Keli Walubita and I were all accused by the government of Angolaof having links with Savimbi, so how does he exoneratehimself?" Vice-President Kavindele said he knew Savimbi whenhe lived in Lusaka's Mulungushi Village in the seventies and methim after 20 years in 1994 when he accompanied a combined team ofUnited Nations, Zambian government and Angolan officials whovisited Huambo to persuade him to accept the Lusaka Protocol. Hefurther charged that there was no basis to claim that he was aforeigner as all his roots could be traced in Zambia includinghis ancestors. Vice-President Kavindele said his father hailedfrom Samalesu village in Kabombo and was the first cousin tochief Kalunga. He said even his grandfather, who died in 1968 wasborn in Chikenge where he died. Vice-President Kavindele said hismother was equally a Zambia including his great grand mother BanaKambeu who before her death in 1975 had been employed as amid-wife in Mufulira. Lt. Gen. Tembo, in an interview with PANAlast week maintained that he was a Zambian from Lundazi district."This matter has been before court and the people who madethe allegations failed to prove them in fact they even failed tocome to court and the court ruled in my favour-what else do youwant?" Lt. Gen. Tembo told PANA. "Some of these peoplemaking these allegations come from Angola and I mean I can proveit that the fellow who made these allegations comes from Angolaand is co-operating with Savimbi even the aircraft he claims tohave owned is Savimbi's." Vice-President Kavindele said asfar as he was concerned there was no evidence of him being aforeign national because he was Zambian. "They have noevidence at all it's just plain stupidity on their part," hecharged. Lt. Gen. Tembo said the baseless issue of nationalitywas being brought up now because the MMD were simply scared ofthe loss that they would soon suffer in the coming elections toFDD. "I am not daunted by manoeuvres of the MMDgovernment," Lt. Gen. Tembo said. " I am ready forthem."
Tilyenji denounces citizenship law(Lusaka, The Post, 18/10) - The citizenship law is abad one, opposition UNIP president Tilyenji Kaunda has said.Reacting to government's disclosure that FDD president Lt. Gen.Christon Tembo was illegible to contest the Republican presidencybecause his parents hailed from Malawi, Tilyenji said such lawsshould be repealed because they were discriminatory againstvaluable citizens. Tilyenji said UNIP was opposed to this lawsince 1996 when it was enacted out of principle and not becauseit was barring former Republican president Dr. Kenneth Kaundafrom contesting the presidential elections. "We asked for itso that it could not be passed and we are doing so now, a Zambianis a person who was here before independence was declared, aZambian is the one who is born of Zambian parents, there shouldbe no discrimination," said Tilyenji. And Zambia Alliancefor Progress (ZAP) presidential candidate Dean Mung'omba said theopposition and other civic organisations in 1996 had argued thatthe law was looking and directed at Dr. Kaunda though some peoplewho were now in the opposition defended its enactment. Mung'ombasaid such laws were specifically intended to disadvantage someindividuals that the lawmakers had selected. "We also madereference to the fact that such laws could affect Zambiansincluding President Chiluba himself," Mung'omba said."Here we are today very sadly and unfortunately that Gen.Tembo must taste his own medicine and this will continue to theFDD leaders in almost everything." Mung'omba said theshortcomings of enacting bad laws, condoning theft and corruptionand general mismanagement of the economy were as a result ofPresident Chiluba's leadership and some leaders who were now inFDD. "If we really cared about this nation we could havestopped Mr. Chiluba from this rot," said Mung'omba. HeritageParty presidential candidate Brigadier General Godfrey Miyandaexpressed worry that government usually showed concern aboutpeople's origins when they were in the opposition. Brig. Gen.Miyanda questioned the motive behind the calls to have FDDchairman for finance Dipak Patel deported now when he had servedin the Chiluba cabinet. "The nationality of Dipak Patel wasbeing questioned before elections in 1991 and President Chilubawas aware of this but he included him in his cabinet," Brig.Gen. Miyanda said. "Recently they planted cadres calling forhis deportation and these are double standards." He saidtodate government had not given a satisfactory explanation whyLusaka businessman Majit Ticklay was deported. Brig. Gen. Miyandasaid politicians should not influence law enforcing agencies andshould be allowed to carry out professional duties on matters oflaw.
Sanity of people calling GeneralTembo a foreigner questioned (Lusaka, The Post, 16/10) - Zambiansshould question the sanity of all the people calling newlyelected FDD president Lt. Gen. Christon Tembo a foreigner, saidDipak Patel yesterday. Patel said even President Chiluba shouldexplain why he appointed Lt. Gen. Tembo as his vice when he hadirrefutable evidence that he was a foreigner. He said it wassurprising that Lt. Gen. Tembo's citizenship was under questionfrom Vice-President Kavindele a few hours after being elected asFDD president. "But why did Dr. Kaunda appoint him as armycommander if he was a foreigner?" Patel asked. "EvenChiluba appointed him as his vice-president. When I was MMDcampaign manager and later commerce minister, I was a Zambian.But when I opposed the third term I became a foreigner. WhenTembo was in government, he was a Zambian now he is being calleda foreigner. When people think like that, you will have toquestion their sanity because it is not normal." He said asfar as he knew, Lt. Gen. Tembo was a Zambian unless thegovernment had evidence to the contrary. And a Ndola FDD memberDoreen Mwamba said President Chiluba should be charged forappointing Lt. Gen. Tembo as his vice who even acted as presidenteach time he was out of the country. "Strictly speaking Lt.Gen. Tembo has been President before because he was acting inChiluba's absence," Mwamba said. "So Chiluba shouldanswer why he allowed a foreigner to be leading the country inhis absence? If we have to go to court, Chiluba should come as awitness with Eric Silwamba as a lawyer because he is specialisedin such cases." Mwamba said MMD were desperate because theyknew that Lt. Gen. Tembo was capable of winning the election. AndFDD Kabwata constituency vice chairman Lawrence Banda saidVice-President Kavindele was not the best placed person tocomment on the matter because he is not the returning officer forpresidential candidates. Banda has advised Vice-PresidentKavindele to leave the matter to the Chief Justice who willascertain whether or not Lt. Gen. Tembo qualifies as apresidential candidate. "He is not an authority on thematter. Let him leave the matter to the courts and concentrate onbuilding his party from the ashes if that is possible," saidBanda.
I'm MMD's target, says General Tembo(Lusaka, The Post, 16/10) - I'm MMD's target, claimedFDD president Lieutenant General Christon Tembo yesterday. Lt.General Tembo said the MMD government has set aside K5 billion todestabilise opposition FDD before the forthcoming elections. Hesaid they were also aware that K1.5 billion of the K5 billion wasintended for a campaign against his eligibility to contest theRepublican presidency. "Out of this, K1.5 billion istargeted at me and we are expecting a lot of fluff but I thinkthat the people of Zambia know that this is just persecution,they know that MMD is very desperate," Lt. Gen. Tembo said.Vice-President Enoch Kavindele on Sunday said Lt. Gen. Temboshould sort out his citizenship before filing his nominationpapers for the Republican presidency because his father who was ateacher in Kitwe hailed from Malawi. Lt. Gen. Tembo said hiselection as FDD president had unsettled the MMD but warned thattheir skirmishes would not work because his party had adequatelyprepared itself for such. He advised Vice-President Kavindele tostop playing and dancing to President Frederick Chiluba's songbecause he had been sidelined. "The man, first of all hewent through an MMD election at Mulungushi Rock which was asham," Lt. Gen. Tembo said. "As Republicanvice-president he has been shunned completely out of themainstream of MMD politics." Vice-President Kavindeleyesterday said he did not believe the government could put K5billion to destabilise FDD because MMD presidential candidateLevy Mwanawasa was ready to face any opposition during theelections. He said there was nothing personal with his disclosurethat Lt. Gen. Tembo's parents hailed from Malawi because it was amatter of fact. "As leader of government business I haveaccess to a lot of information, General Tembo is aware that thismatter has not originated now, it has been an ongoingmatter," he said. Vice-President Kavindele said the matterconcerning Lt. Gen. Tembo's origins was known from the time hewas Zambia Army commander but could only be brought up nowbecause the FDD leader was vying for the republican presidency.He said it was unfortunate that Lt. Gen. Tembo's parents hailedfrom Malawi and could therefore not qualify under the Republicanconstitution. Vice-President Kavindele said as a governmentleader he was just a messenger of fact. Lt. Gen. Tembo saidpeople like Vice-President Kavindele should reach a point wheretheir integrity was not compromise because it would alsocompromised their security. He advised Vice-President Kavindeleto refresh himself with the court case questioning the formerpresident's citizenship which he won in the High Court. "Iam aware that they have gone to Supreme Court and we shall leaveit to Supreme Court to decide," Lt. Gen. Tembo said."But that is the kind of mud that will be thrown at mycolleagues and myself." Lt. Gen. Tembo said his parentshailed from Lundazi in chief Magodi's area under group headmanMalandula and those questioning his origins should travel toEastern Province to find out the truth. Vice-President Kavindelesaid Lt. Gen. Tembo as leader of the House and former legalaffairs minister Vincent Malambo should have known that thecitizenship clause in the Constitution was a bad law. He saidboth as an MMD national executive committee member and cabinetminister he had personally objected to the 1996 Bill which barredformer republican president Dr. Kenneth Kaunda from contestingthe general elections. "I said if the idea was to bar Dr.Kaunda, we should have used the two term clause,"Vice-President Kavindele said. "In Parliament I lobbiedagainst this law." Vice-President Kavindele claimed when heapproached former minister without portfolio Michael Sata on thesame issue he said, "tukafichinja boyi (we shall change itmy friend)". Lt. Gen. Tembo said he was impressed with thespirit the Zambian people had exhibited during the FDD's fourdays convention. He said people had shown exceptionaldetermination under very difficult conditions which was evidentthat they had hope in FDD. Reacting to MMD presidential candidateLevy Mwanawasa when he said he was no match for him in theforthcoming elections, Lt. Gen. Tembo said, "Let him waituntil the election comes." Lt. Gen. Tembo said Mwanawasacould have beaten him during the MMD convention in 1991 butwarned the ball game was totally different now."At that timecircumstances under which the elections were held weredifferent," said Lt. Gen. Tembo.
'Spontaneously' settled refugeesworry government (The Post, 09/10) - The government hasexpressed concern over spontaneously settledrefugees. Opening a two-days workshop on refugee registration anddata management at Lusaka Intercontinental Hotel yesterday,Ministry of Home Affairs acting deputy permanent secretary KafulaNgandu said last years census had captured about130,000 spontaneously settled refugees. Ngandu said theMinistry of Home Affairs would make an assessment of the impactof spontaneous refugees on the local population with a view toseek lasting solutions to the problem. He said there was need tore-focus attention in the last quarter of this year on campregistration. Ngandu said adequate registration andissuance of documentation was a prerequisite to the legal andphysical protection of refugees. Government, UNHCR, andimplementing partners require reasonably adequate population datato allocate resources, monitor delivery, evaluate interventionsand effectively plan for and implement durable solutions,he said. Ngandu said government would from now on play amore central role in matters relating to registration of refugeesbecause it was their primary responsibility. He said UNHCR wouldplay the role of facilitator and technical adviser to continuebuilding capacity in the process of registering refugees inZambia. This will enable government keep track of allaliens in Zambia, ensure appropriate treatment of refugees by thepolice and immigration, and develop adequate receptionmeasures, he said. Ngandu said he was looking forwardto the outcome of the discussions with the hope that the workshopwould deepen understanding of registration for refugees amongstakeholders. He also disclosed that 2,209 electronic cards haveso far been issued to refugees who meet the criteria out of atotal registered urban case load of 3,684. Ngandu said somerefugees had for various reasons opted not to come forward forregistration. He said in the same vein, the Ministry of HomeAffairs was working out mechanisms of compelling all unregisteredrefugees to do so with the Commissioner for Refugees.Ngandu said those who do not meet the criteria fordetermining eligibility for residing outside camps would berelocated to designated refugee camps. UNHCR residentrepresentative Ahmed Gubartalla said registration of refugees wasimportant for planning and provision of humanitarian assistance.Gubartalla said it would be difficult to provide assistancewithout an idea of the number, locations, gender and age groupsof refugees in need of help. He said it would be difficult tofind lasting solutions to refugees problems without acredible data bank. Gubartalla said an effort has already beenmade in Zambia to make an inventory of the various registrationchallenges. He said U7NHCR has agreed with the Zambian governmentto set up a sub-committee on residency permits to reviewapplications for residency status based on security cases andmedical cases, among others. Gubartalla said another strategywould focus on refugees residing in designated refugees sites andcamps. He also said the UNHCR was attempting to address thequestion of refugees who move irregularly. Gubartalla said allfiles pending resettlement were now being stored electronicallyon a special database.
Concern over unregistered refugees(UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, 08/10) - Zambiafaced a refugee crisis as tens of thousands of people who escapedwar in neighbouring countries continued to stay there withoutproper identification, an AFP report quoted a government officialas saying on Monday. According to the report, Zambia shelteredmore than 250,000 refugees, mostly from neighbouring Angola andthe Democratic Republic of Congo, where protracted civil wars hadforced people to flee to safety. Acting permanent secretary inthe ministry of home affairs, Kafula Ngandu, was quoted as sayingthat about 130,000 of the refugees were scattered throughoutZambia without identification particulars and continued "tobe a source of concern to government". The report said thatin the past refugees - most of whom had no proper identification- had been arrested and detained, especially in urban areas, forviolating Zambia's immigration laws. Ngandu said the governmentwas looking at ways of enforcing registration for all refugees.He said the government had developed identity cards for refugeesliving in urban areas to assist in their protection.
Tens of thousands of refugees livingin unregistered in Zambia (Lusaka, Sapa-AFP, 08/10) - Zambiafaces a refugee crisis as tens of thousands of people who escapedwar in neighbouring countries stay there without properidentification, an official said Monday. Zambia shelters morethan 250,000 refugees, mostly from neighbouring Angola and theDemocratic Republic of Congo, which have suffered from protractedcivil wars. Some 130,000 of those refugees are scatteredthroughout Zambia, without identification particulars, andcontinue "to be a source of concern to government,"Kafula Ngandu, acting permanent secretary in the ministry of homeaffairs said Monday. In the past, refugees have been arrested anddetained, especially in urban areas, for violating Zambia'simmigration laws because most have no proper identification.Ngandu said the government was looking at ways of enforcingregistration for all refugees. He said the government hasdeveloped identity cards for refugees living in urban areas toassist in their protection. A representative of the UN HighCommission for Refugees (UNHCR), Ahmed Gubartalla, said adatabase on refugees was being compiled. He said it would aid intheir voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement.
63 farmers settle in Mozambique(Bulawayo, The Insider, 31/10) - The Mozambicangovernment has denied that there is an exodus of white Zimbabweanfarmers into that country. It said it had licensed only 63Zimbabwean farmers and had granted each 1 000 hectares. Thefarmers had asked for 400 000 hectares. Soares Nhaca, governor ofManica, said a large number of Zimbabwean farmers had been turneddown because they had failed to prove that they had the necessaryresources for successful investment. He said Zimbabwean farmerswere being treated just like any other investors and were beinggiven land concessions valid for 50 years which may be renewedfor a further 50 years. Some of the farmers are fleeing fromZimbabwe's land resettlement exercise which has seen peasantsoccupy more than 1 700 farms.
Deportations threaten Trans-LimpopoSpatial Development Initiative (Bulawayo, African Eye NewsService, 25/10) - The Trans Limpopo SpatialDevelopment Initiative (SDI) deal signed between South Africa'sNorthern Province and the Zimbabwean provinces of MatabelelandNorth and South faces a new threat from the impending deportationof Zimbabwean farm workers. The agreement, signed in March thisyear, seeks to foster cooperation in the areas of tourism,mining, wildlife conservation, disease control and agriculturebetween the two countries. Officials in Zimbabwe said onWednesday that there was a "real threat" to theagreement as South Africa readies to deport over 10 000Zimbabwean farm workers working on Northern Province farms."We have been in touch with our South African counterpartsand we all agreed that we need an urgent review and see where wecan come in to save the agreement," said Matabeleland Southprovincial administrator, John Ncube. Although South Africanfarmers have won a temporary reprieve in the South African courtsto keep the workers on the farms, thousands of Zimbabweans havealready crossed back into the country fearing violent arrests anddeportations. Rampaging mobs of South Africans have been carryingout evictions and intermittent raids on Zimbabweans inZandspruit, west of Johannesburg, which threatens to freezediplomatic relations between the two countries. "Naturally,we are concerned about the developments in South Africa andanxiously wait to see what it does to the diplomatic relations ofour two countries. But the Trans Limpopo SDI certainly has towork and we remain firmly committed," said Ncube. In areason the Zimbabwean side along the 260km border stretch between thetwo countries, which touches the Northern Province, formerworkers fleeing South African farms have set up camps with adetermination to return when things improve.
Zimbabwean actor Kanaventi statelessby 2002 (Harare, Zimbabwe Standard, 23/10) - Dominic JKanaventi is a well-known Zimbabwean actor and play director whotold me recently that he has until January 2002 before he isformally declared a stateless person. Sounds incredible as he wasborn in Zimbabwe in October 1950. The trouble was that his fatherwas born in Mozambique and actually walked all the way to whatwas then Salisbury where he married Dominic's mother. SoKanaventi grew up in Zimbabwe believing he was a Zimbabwecitizen. What he and his family didn't know, was that he shouldhave renounced his Mozambican citizenship when he reached the ageof 21. Says Kanaventi: "It never crossed my mind to do this.I was born here. I have never lived in Mozambique but accordingto statutory instrument 217 of 2001, called 'Renunciation ofCitizenship', I have to give up my Mozambican citizenship which Ido not even have, or else lose my Zimbabwean citizenship."Kanaventi says that he has been in touch with Mozambique and theysay there is no record of him on their books, therefore it isimpossible for them to say he is renouncing a citizenship whichhe doesn't have. Under Zimbabwean law, however, citizenship comesfrom the father and Dominic's father was born in Mozambique. Sothe claim is that Dominic J Kanaventi is a holder of dualcitizenship which will be against the law come 2002. "Notonly will I become stateless, I will also be denied a vote in thepresidential election next year, the same predicament that facesthousands of farm workers in my position," he stated.Kanaventi recently acted in, directed and translated into Shonaand English, Can't Pay, Won't Pay by Dario Fo and toured numeroustownships with the play. He has worked for the Mercedes BenzCompany of consultants for commercial vehicles in Douglas Roadfor 20 years. He is married with two girls and a boy. "Whatam I supposed to do come January 2002?" he groaned. "Ican never leave the country as I will not be allowed back in if Igo. So officially, I will become a stateless individual,something the government said would never be allowed tohappen." Surely, his case should become an issue forparliamentary debate and if there is a way out for him, he wouldbe delighted to learn how to achieve it.
Citizenship law under scrutiny(Harare, Zimbabwe Independent, 19/10) - Thecitizenship law promulgated in July this year to outlaw dualcitizenship has fallen prey to the vagaries of partisaninterpretation by the Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede, layingthe ground for another gruelling court battle to ascertain thecorrect reading of the measures prescribed. A class action suitchallenging Mudede's interpretation of the citizenship law wasfiled with the High Court at the beginning of the month. Thereappears to be a fundamental difference between legalpractitioners and Mudede over who has to do what. Mudede, whostarted to apply the law even before it had been passed byparliament, stands accused of applying the ruling party's wishesrather than the strict legal requirements. While the Act givesdual citizens until January 6 2002 to renounce their foreigncitizenship according to the laws of their respective countries,Mudede has added a confusing spin suggesting that people with aclaim to foreign citizenship also have to renounce thatcitizenship, which in many cases does not exist except in his -and Zanu PF's - imagination. Mudede placed an advertisement in alocal daily last week reminding "citizens of othercountries" to renounce. It referred to "those peoplewho are citizens of other countries other than Zimbabwe,including those who had already renounced their foreigncitizenship in terms of the Zimbabwean law in 1985, orentitlement/claim in terms of the foreign citizenship laws beforeJanuary 6 2002". Section 9 of the Act reads: "A citizenof Zimbabwe of full age who at the date of commencement of theCitizenship of Zimbabwe Amendment Act 2001 is also a citizen of aforeign country; or at any time before that date, had renouncedor purported to renounce his citizenship of a foreign country andhas, despite such renunciation, retained his citizenship of thatcountry, shall cease to be a citizen of Zimbabwe six months afterthat date unless, before the expiry of that period, he haseffectively renounced his foreign citizenship in accordance withthe law of that foreign country and has made a declarationconfirming such renunciation in the form and mannerprescribed." Legal practitioners said every person wasentitled to their own interpretation of the law and it was notproper for Mudede, who is a lawyer, to say that hisinterpretation was the only one. Legal expert and University ofZimbabwe law lecturer Dr Lovemore Madhuku said the law was veryclear on the need for one to renounce foreign citizenship. Hecommented on Mudede's interpretation: "That is not totallycorrect. The law does not talk of entitlement or any other right- it just says a person has to renounce and if he does not, heloses the citizenship and becomes a permanent resident," hesaid. Senior lawyer with Scanlen & Holderness, SternfordMoyo, in a statement to the Zimbabwe Independent, said thecitizenship law as amended in July did not provide forrenunciation of entitlement. "All subsections which dealwith renunciation deal with the renunciations of foreigncitizenship and not a mere entitlement or claim to foreigncitizenship," said Moyo. "Accordingly, contrary to theadvertisement you refer to, automatic loss of Zimbabweancitizenship is in terms of Section 9 of the Citizenship Act,visited upon those who acquire foreign citizenship. "Thereappears to be no automatic penalty arising from an entitlement toforeign citizenship. A mere claim to foreign citizenship which isnot accompanied by an entitlement or an acquisition, is notproscribed by the Zimbabwean law," he said. Instead of thelaw applying to people holding dual citizenship - as set out inthe Act - Mudede has unilaterally added further categories to thelist of people affected. People born here but having parents bornoutside the country have to renounce their entitlement to thecitizenship of their parents' country of birth. This means aperson born here of a father of Malawian descent and a mother ofMozambican origin has to renounce entitlement to Malawian andMozambican citizenship. This is virtually impossible to do giventhe refusal of those countries to cooperate. A person born ofZimbabwean parents but in a foreign land also has to renounceentitlement to the citizenship of the country of birth. This hascreated confusion as thousands of affected persons are beingasked to renounce what they do not have. Ben Shawa of the ZambiaHigh Commission said a number of people were coming to theiroffices to renounce what they did not have. In other words thepeople who were being asked to renounce cannot do so underZambian law, as they do not have any birth or registrationdocument of that country. The law, which was originally conceivedto disenfranchise British nationals living here, has now affectedtens of thousands of farm workers born of Malawian, Zambian orMozambican parents. A fortnight ago the Farmworkers Action Group(FAG) released a statement which contradicted Mudede'sinterpretation of the law. The group's interpretation mirrorsthat of the legal fraternity. At the weekend, Mudede releasedanother statement asking FAG leader Godfrey Magaramombe towithdraw his organisation's statement on the basis that it wasmisleading. "His article was misleading and unfortunatebecause any failure by farm workers to renounce foreigncitizenship in the form and manner prescribed by the foreign lawwill result in loss of Zimbabwean citizenship after 6th January2002," read Mudede's counter statement. However, SternfordMoyo agued that it would be absurd to penalise someone withautomatic loss of citizenship "merely on the basis of aclaim which may be entirely unfounded or an entitlement which hemay not be aware of or which the relevant foreign country may noteven recognise". He added: "Many Zimbabwean citizensare entitled to Malawian and other citizenship. They are ordinarylay persons who may not be familiar with the niceties ofcitizenship laws. "The legislature avoided this injusticeand absurdity by limiting the penalty of automatic loss ofZimbabwean citizenship to those who acquire foreigncitizenship." Moyo said in the event that the law providedthe opportunity for two or more interpretations, "the goldenrule of interpretation is to adopt an interpretation which avoidsmanifest injustice or the creation of an absurdity". Hehowever said there was no need for the application of this ruleof interpretation as the wording of the law was unambiguous."Section 9 is unambiguous," said Moyo. "There isno justification other than the clear grammatical meaning of thewords used in it." The passing of the law in July this yearfollowed a test case in the Supreme Court in December last yearin which the court ordered the RG's office to grant a businessexecutive a Zimbabwean passport after she had been denied one. InAugust last year the RG's office refused to renew Robyn Carr'spassport saying she held a British passport. The Supreme Courtruled that Carr was entitled to a Zimbabwean passport because shehad renounced her British nationality according to the 1985Zimbabwean law which prohibited dual nationality. Mudede's officehad contended that she had to renounce under the British law. Thegovernment quickly moved in to pass a law to reverse thejudgement. The government's resolve with regards to citizenshiplaws had however been very clear before that. In May last yearthe state media screamed "Surrender Zimbabweanpassports!" at whites perceived to have not renounced theirforeign nationality. "There are concerns that those withdual citizenship are behind efforts to discredit the government(and) to use diplomatic and other means to topple the Zanu PFgovernment," the Sunday Mail quoted a government official assaying. With a class action pending and the Registrar-General'soffice once again illegally depriving people of their right toretain a citizenship they have legally obtained, it must be askedwhy Mudede is enforcing an idiosyncratic interpretation of thelaw not shared by anybody else!
8,000 Zimbabweans slip back over theborder (Harare, Mail & Guardian, 17/10) -
More land grabs likely if workersevicted from South Africa (Harare, Dispatch Online, 16/10) -
Zimbabwean farm labourers have to go(Johannesburg, Mail & Guardian, 15/10) - Farmersfear fewer hands could lead to crop losses when harvesting seasonkicks off. Grant Downie has employed Zimbabweans to pick citrusfruit on his farm near Messina in Northern Province for as longas he can remember. They come across the border as seasonalworkers to pick and pack tomato and fruit crops at the height ofthe harvests between April and October. But from today, theestimated 15000 Zimbabwean farm labourers who find work on hisand other farms along South Africa's northern border are nolonger welcome. Farmers found harbouring them face hefty finesand possibly arrest. Over the weekend, Zimbabwean farm labourersmade their way across the border post at Beitbridge into Zimbabweto avoid the police and army searches expected this week. Manymore have slipped back through a border fence along the Limpoporiver that is full of holes and in disrepair. Others, however,risk deportation by staying to see out the end of thetomato-picking season. They hope that an application by thefarmers to the Pretoria High Court today for an interdict to stopdeportations will buy enough time for them to finish off theseason. Government has ordered the Zimbabweans out and stopped apermit system that allowed farmers to hire workers from theneighbouring country. The Zimbabweans were a ready and cheapsource of labour, but the government believes they have takenlocal people's jobs in one of the country's poorest provinces. Italso suspects that farmers pay workers next to nothing and hireillegal immigrants. "We don't want to go for the farmworkers, but the farmers. We can put the farm workers on the nexttrain and many of them will come back. But what can we do? Therehas to be a rule of law," says Leslie Mashokwe, a spokesmanfor the department of home affairs. The local farming community,which earns R21m from exporting fruit, argues that the expulsionof Zimbabwean labour will bring economic calamity when harvestingbegins next year. It also believes poverty in Zimbabwe may forcefarm labourers to return to prey on their former employers."If farmers do not have sufficient labour to harvest theircrops, which are mostly perishable products, these crops will belost. This will result in widespread bankruptcy. There will be nojob opportunities left neither for Zimbabweans nor for localworkers," said Edward Vorster, the head of Agri- North, theprovince's farmers' union. The struggle between government andthe farmers centres on low wages. Zimbabweans work for less thantheir local counterparts and farmers say they are moreproductive. Pickers earn about R300 a month plus food andaccommodation on a casual basis. On better-paying farms they canearn as much as R750 a month. Over the past six months, effortshave been made to hire local workers, but Downie said locals hadfound the hard work unappealing and the pay unattractive. Localworkers were brought by truck, but drifted away after a few days."They wanted transport back home every day, a flat rate ofpay and weren't happy with the living conditions. We missedshifts with the grapefruit and had over-ripe tomatoes," hesaid. Negotiations over the repatriation of Zimbabwean workershave run for three years. The enforcement of today's deadlineshows the government has run out of patience with the farmers andthe increasing numbers of expatriate Zimbabweans. Not everyonewill miss their northern neighbours. "They are keeping thewages down. Local people would be happy if they were nothere," says Charles Nemadzivanani, a local farm labourer. ABusiness Day correspondent reports that Agri-SA said at theweekend that farmers had set up a recruitment agency in Messinato encourage the hiring of local farm labourers. The agriculturalorganisation said it had appealed to the provincial government inPietersburg to avoid confrontation and avert an economic crisisin the Northern Province. Kobus Kleynhans, a spokesman forAgri-SA, said farmers in the border area were willing to paytraining levies and to discuss other contributions that theycould make to avoid "a sudden cut-off" from Zimbabweanlabour. "You don't have to just make a cutoff to keeppressure on the farmers," he said. "It should be agradual process." He also warned that Zimbabweans would bereturned to a desperate plight in Zimbabwe where they could facewidespread poverty and famine.
Officers transferred over passportscam (The Financial Gazette, 11/10) - TheRegistrar-General's Office is transferring many of its seniorpassport officers from its Harare head office after allegationsof massive corruption in the issue of travel documents surfacedthis week, the Financial Gazette has learnt. Reports say rampantcorruption is suspected within the passport office, withdesperate travellers being forced to bribe some officers to gettheir documents in time. There are also reports of touts whoallegedly work in cahoots with some of the corrupt officers fromthe Registrar-General's city premises. Harare residents this weeksaid they were being charged as much as $3 000 on top of theusual cost of a passport by the touts to facilitate the quickprocessing of travel documents. The touts charge $1 000 to have anew passport processed within a week and as much as $20 000 fornew documents for those who might have been expelled fromcountries such as the United Kingdom and need new birthcertificates and passports. One of the touts said business wasbrisk because many young Zimbabweans were being turned away fromcountries such as South Africa, the United States and Britainwhen they would have tried to sneak into the countries in searchof work and would need new documents because the old ones wouldbe stamped. Sources at the passport office said officials thisweek began transferring some officers to remote parts of thecountry after suspicions that a massive passport racket involvingsome of them could be underway but the move is being resisted. Itwas not possible to get comment from Registrar-General TobaiwaMudede.
This page last updated 09 July 2004.