Seven foreign nationals were arrested in Alice, Eastern Cape, for violating immigration laws.
The arrests were made as part of a joint operation involving the police, home affairs, and the safety and liaison department.
The police arrested the suspects after they failed to produce proper documents that allow them to be in the country. Four shops were also closed for operating without licenses.
Eastern Cape Safety and Liaison MEC, Xolile Nqatha says it is concerning as it puts the country at risk because these people are undocumented.
“We are gravely concerned about it because it opens our country to risks because these people are undocumented, we can’t even trace them. There are no records in the country, including fingerprints, if they were to commit a crime it’s going to be difficult to get hold of them because they don’t have records and we want to ensure that all foreign nationals in our country comply.”
The community and legal businesses in the area have welcomed the initiative. Bitaniy Tadesse, a foreign business owner says she does not have a problem because she has all the needed documents.
“The police are coming they asked for asylum papers. I have the papers, I showed them and then they asked for the license for the business, I paid for that and I don’t have any problem.”
Eastern Cape police commissioner, Nomthetheleli Mene says they are planning a number of similar operations during this festive season.
“We are going to different hotspot areas like your Buffalo City Nelson Mandela bay to continue with the operation, the main idea is to ensure that citizens are safe and people that come to the province for holidays and tourists are safe.”
The suspects are due in court within the next two days.
Three weeks back, several foreign nationals were arrested at a building on Mahatma Gandhi Road in the city of Durban. It is alleged the foreigners failed to produce documentation of being in the country legally.
Close to 300 undocumented foreign nationals arrested in Alex : 11 March 2022