The Department of Home Affairs says it was left reeling by news of the sale by auction of the Lindela Repatriation Centre on Thursday. The centre, which houses undocumented migrants, was auctioned for R60 million, with a starting bid of R30 million.

The Krugersdorp-based centre, was run by African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa.

The auctioneer stated that there was currently a lease of one million rand a month with public works.

Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille was with her counterpart at home affairs when news of the auction broke.

Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi says”… but the contract of ownership, we still have 11 months to make sure that this property is disposed of. Then we will get the first right of refusal that there was going to be an auction. I and minister Patricia De Lille only heard it on Wednesday when we were in parliament in Cape Town and we started phoning around to find out what was happening. So that’s the part that we don’t understand, that we are trying to find out what has happened.”