More than 300 Mozambicans, mainly suspected illegal immigrants, were deported from South Africa in a one-week period from November 6-12, according to Mozambique’s Migration National Service (SENAMI).
Out of the 317 Mozambicans who were deported, 296 were returned home over illegal immigration, while 17 others were for theft. A further two Mozambicans were deported for physical aggression and another two were for drug trafficking.
SENAMI spokesperson Celestino Matsinhe added that the nationals comprised of 309 men and eight women from eight of the country’s provinces, including Maputo and Sofala.
South Africa, Africa’s most industrialized country, usually attracts millions of people from neighbouring southern African countries, fleeing political and economic challenges in their home countries.
Additionally, several poor migrants from outside the region travel via Mozambique on their way into South Africa given Mozambique’s location along the Southern Route migration corridor. The route is routinely used by migrants from East and the Horn of Africa to travel to South Africa.
In May last year, South Africa repatriated 589 Mozambicans who had been pardoned after serving part of their prison terms.