Zimbabwe + 1 more

Refugee office closure challenged

A leading legal rights group here is challenging in the High Court the closure of yet another refugee reception office.

The Legal resources Centre said more than 18 000 asylum seekers were affected by the closure.

“At many levels there appears to be a crackdown on asylum-seekers and refugees. Last year asylum- seekers were denied assistance for not having transit permits and many were unlawfully arrested,” William Kerfoot, an LRC attorney said the centre filed the application.

“Generally there has been failure to provide identity and travel documents for refugees and asylum-seekers. There has also been harassment of foreign owners of spaza shops and small businesses,” he said.

Thousands of asylum seekers and refugees, mainly Zimbabweans based in Johannesburg, have been affected by the recent closures of refugee reception centres.