Home Affairs not deporting Lesotho migrants yet

The Department of Home Affairs warned against messages circulating on social media, alleging that it has issued an order for the immediate deportation of illegal migrants as of Monday, January 23.

According to the department’s director general, Apleni Mkuseli, home affairs is currently processing received applications for the Lesotho Special Permits (LSP) and this process is expected to proceed until the end of March.

Mkuseli warned that any Lesotho citizen found in South Africa without a permit after March will then be regarded as an illegal migrant. Only then will the process of deporting illegal migrants kick in.

“We need to finalise the process of adjudication on our side so that we know we have issued so many permits based on people that have applied. If we meet somebody on the street without a permit it will mean that person has not applied, and is in our country illegally. Like any other foreign national who is illegally in our country, they will be dealt with in the same way.”

Mkuseli said the process of completing applications is almost completed, and no migrant will be granted amnesty.

He added that applicants who may have fraudulently obtained South African documents were urged to surrender to the Department’s offices and were granted amnesty letters which were valid until the end of 2016.

The Lesotho Special Permit (LSP) is a special dispensation for Lesotho nationals, who are working, studying or running businesses in South Africa and have been in the country in such capacity before 30 September 2015.

– Katleho Morapela/Courant News