DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE SPOKESPERSON ON HOME AFFAIRS

STATEMENT BY MARK LOWE MP
“Zim refugee crisis… does govt plan actually exist?”
The Democratic Alliance is disappointed by the reaction of the Minister of Home Affairs on the situation of Zimbabwean refugees in the country, and demands that she release the details of


a plan for dealing with the refugee crisis.
The Minister’s spokesperson Cleo Mosana recently admitted that there was a refugee problem, and referred to a plan put together by Home Affairs to deal with the crisis. However, Ms Mosana refused to reveal any details of the plan. This indicates to the DA that the department does not have a plan, but that it is hurriedly trying to put together some sort of response due to overwhelming public response to the recent news reports of a massive influx of Zimbabweans fleeing into South Africa.
The department appears to be trying to buy time by firstly accusing the DA of political expediency, then calling the party liars over the border crossing numbers, and lastly playing semantic games with the definition of a refugee.
In addition to this, the Home Affairs director of communications, Jacky Mashapu has released a press statement, claiming that only one Zimbabwean has applied for asylum status in the country since the beginning of the year. Seeing as the DA has visited the Cape Town, Pretoria and KwaZulu-Natal refugee centres, this statement is easily refuted. We saw hundreds of people in the queues waiting to be processed, and spoke with an official who confirmed that there has been a huge increase in Zimbabweans applying for refugee status since the beginning of the year.
The humanitarian crisis grows day by day, and government is still trying to pretend that there are no desperate, hungry Zimbabweans coming into the country to search for safety. It is time for Minister Mapisa-Nqakula, who has thus far been invisible, to show herself and release the plan. Playing games with people’s lives in inexcusable.

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