Mass deportations looming as South Africa reviews visas to foreigners from 2004, Cameroonians at risk

CNA -10 August 2022

South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs (the equivalent of the Ministry of Territorial Administration in Cameroon), has announced that it will begin reviewing visas issued to foreigners as far back as 2004.

The announcement last week by South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi comes after indications that there has been mass corruption in his ministry even before he took office.

Investigations revealed that some unscrupulous staff in the Department were issuing visas to foreigners in as little as 48 hours – something that is questionable as there are a lot of checks that have to be conducted before a visa is issued and these checks cannot normally be done in just two days.
Investigations in the Department of Home Affairs also revealed that some foreigners as young as 25 were getting retirement visas and study visas were often issued to “learners” with sketchy details as to the course of study and other related information.

Minister Motsoaledi stated that he is certain that the review of visas from 2004 will expose a lot of people who obtained visas fraudulently. This would mean all those in possession of fake visas or those who did not follow due process in the obtention of their visas will be deported to their home countries.

The decision is likely to affect hundreds of Cameroonians, most of whom have either overstayed their visas or entered the country illegally through its porous borders either through Namibia, Eswatini, or Mozambique.

It should be noted that South Africa installed border guards on July 13 as a way of curbing illegal migration into a country that is already burdened with its own domestic problems from high unemployment to staggering crime figures.

Foreigners are often easily targeted when frustrations with poor service delivery by the ANC-led government boil over. Some South Africans believe that they are jobless because foreigners “took” their jobs.

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