The Department of Home Affairs will deploy immigration officials to the crime-ridden Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, to work with the police to verify the documentation of residents. Police Minister Bheki Cele announced yesterday that the Tactical Response Team, better known as Amaberets will be deployed to the township.

Cele addressed residents together with Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi after violent protests on Thursday during which shops were looted. Residents took to the streets blocking roads with burning tyres, rocks and rubbish bins. The protests followed the killing of a police captain allegedly by foreign nationals.  Four undocumented Zimbabwean nationals have since been arrested.

Motsoaledi says the immigration officers will verify who is in the country illegally.

“We must be very careful to label people xenophobic when they have got concerns. We can confirm with you, it is true they are all un-documented. Most people are not documented because they came here to commit a crime. They came as criminals, not as migrants. The fact that people just remain here and kill police, it is because they don’t want to be seen, and they don’t want to be known. They don’t want their fingerprints to be captured. Don’t confuse them with migrants.”

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