Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Zim refugees in S.A.: "hostile refuge"


Mother Jones, a left wing magazine that covers human rights, has a report on South Africa's hostility to Zim refugees.alas, the full article requires you get their magazine...
"...Human rights monitors estimate that number (of poor Zim refugees in S.A.) to be as high as 1.5 million people. Captain Harrie Heslinga, in the South African border town of Musina, told me that each week his men arrest between 500 and 1,000 Zimbabweans, which he estimates to be 10 percent of those who cross into South Africa. “It’s getting worse and worse,” Heslinga says. “Their country is in chaos, and they see South Africa as the promised land.”

"In crossing the river, the migrants face flash floods, crocodiles, poisonous snakes, cape buffalo, lions; one refugee told me he watched as a rampaging bull elephant crushed his best friend to death last summer. Once they get to South Africa, the refugees are stalked by South African police who almost every night sweep through the Johannesburg and Pretoria neighborhoods frequented by Zimbabweans. Those arrested can languish for weeks in the notorious Lindela Repatriation Center in Krugersdorp, 30 miles northwest of Johannesburg, before being driven across the Limpopo and dumped back into Zimbabwe....

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