By Limpho Sello
MASERU — A total of 121 Basotho were deported from South Africa over the Easter holidays due to lack of relevant documentation.
According to the Maseru Immigration Services manager, Mantšebo Motšoanakabe, the deportees were held at the Lindela Detention Centre in Gauteng province, before their dispatch to the Maseru Bridge Border Post.
“When I interacted with the deportees on their reason for overstaying in South Africa, they said they live far from the border, and therefore, cannot easily renew their visas.
“On the other hand, some said the days they are given when they cross over into South Africa lapse when they have not been paid, and have no money to travel,” Motšoanakabe said.
However, Motšoanakabe said Basotho should be aware that after such deportations, they are not allowed to cross into South Africa for the next five years, hence the need to also ensure their immigration papers are in order.
“Once deported, they become prohibited immigrants,” she said.
Motšoanakabe acknowledged the problems that force Basotho to overstay or work without permits in South Africa.
“We do realise that some of the problems are of people being deported because there is still no agreement for domestic workers to get work-permits.
That is why they end up overstaying or without the necessary documentation, leading to deportations.”