As the deadline to deport undocumented Zimbabwean migrants on or after 1 January 2011 looms, human rights activists warn South Africa could face a potential human rights disaster, though a senior South African official says the government is not aiming for a « massive deportation operation ».
Rights NGOs working with Zimbabwean migrants said they were bracing for hundreds of thousands to be deported.
Richard Kadziwe of the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF), a member of a panel set up by the South African government to liaise with it on matters affecting Zimbabwean migrants, said: « We are not quite sure how to prepare for it [the resumption of deportations suspended since April 2009] – we are hoping the authorities will extend the deadline. »
But Modiri Matthews, chief director of immigration services at the department of home affairs, rejected suggestions of a massive blitz against Zimbabwean migrants at the end of the year.
Link to IRIN website: Tussle over planned resumption of deportations