joburg raids

Photo: Twitter / David Thembe

Joburg raids result in mass deportation of 360 foreign nationals [video]

The foreign nationals are expected to be deported to their respective countries within the next 30 days.

joburg raids

Photo: Twitter / David Thembe

The hundreds of foreign nationals that were arrested during the Joburg raids face the inevitable reality of being deported to their respective countries of origin.

Joburg raids: How many foreign nationals will be deported?

On Thursday, 1 August, a police raid led by SAPS task teams, with assistance from the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD), targeted Hillbrow, a part of the Joburg CBD that is mostly occupied by foreign nationals.

The objective, on the law enforcement’s part, was clear: Target illegal traders and confiscate any and all counterfeit goods.

This, however, did not go as planned. The heavy presence of law enforcement agencies in the Joburg CBD prompted a revolt and what people witnessed on social media left many dumbfounded.

Many of those who led the revolt against law enforcement appeared before the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, on Monday.

According to reports from SABC News journalist, Maageketla Mohlabe, the court ruled that 360 undocumented foreign nationals, who failed to prove they are in the country legally, will be deported within the next 30 days.

The court noted that the foreign nationals scheduled for deportation will, in the meantime, be moved to the Lindela Repatriation Centre, in Krugersdorp, where they will be processed and kept until they are removed from South Africa.

Why are the foreign nationals being deported?

It is believed that the number of detained foreign nationals was much higher than the 360 that appeared at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, on Monday.

It turns out that some were released after they were able to present official documents from the Department of Home Affairs that authorise their stay in the country.

It is not clear, at this stage, whether those who have been released are still facing charges related to the sale of counterfeit goods. The unfortunate bunch, however, have failed to present proof of their authorisation to live and trade in South Africa.

Watch: Supporters call for the release of foreign nationals

Scores of civic organisations led the protests that took place outside the court. Calls for the detained foreign nationals reverberated through the bustling streets of Johannesburg.

Supporters accused the South African government of denying fellow Africans the right to enjoy the freedoms of the country, a gesture that was not exercised by countries like Ghana and Ethiopia when struggle icons were exiled during Apartheid.