Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Illegal immigrants put strain on police

By Lizel Steenkamp (Beeld)

The country's provincial police chiefs said in Parliament on Tuesday that the government doesn't budget for the "millions" of illegal immigrants who have to be policed out of sheer necessity.

Calvin Sengani, chief of police in Limpopo, made it particularly clear when he spoke about the pressure placed on resources by the constant influx of Zimbabweans:

"They're flooding our towns and cities. They cause a great number of problems with crime. We arrest them and protect them with resources that are intended for our citizens."

The police station in Musina is one of the ten stations in Limpopo where the most serious violent crimes are reported.

3 million illegal immigrants in Gauteng

Limpopo has over 12 000 police officials and one vehicle for every four officials. According to Sengani, these resources are intended to protect the 5.2 million residents of his province, “but the illegal immigrants aren't included in that total".

Simon Mpembe, acting chief of police in Gauteng, also told the portfolio committee for police that there are up to three million illegal immigrants in Gauteng.

"So there are more people to police, but we don't have enough officials to do the extra work. We can't say we won't police them because they come from another country," Mpembe later told Beeld.

Thulani Ntobela, chief of police in Mpumalanga, said he hopes the SANDF can soon start helping with border security, "because in some places there isn't even a fence".


Related Posts:

The Last Resort: A Memoir of Zimbabwe

Illegal Immigrants - Is anyone counting?

A strategy to suffocate minority groups

A letter from Zimbabwe

Zimbabweans have been crossing the border seeking refuge in South Africa for years. They are fleeing an economic and humanitarian crisis, trying to survive. But many risk their lives by making the journey; on both sides of the border they are preyed upon by violent gangs and others.


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