News / Africa

S. Africa’s New Immigration Laws Worry Zimbabwean Immigrants

South Africa’s Tough New Immigration Laws Worry Zimbabwean Immigrantsi
X
June 13, 2014 12:08 PM
Four years ago, the South African government granted amnesty to hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans -- who had fled to that country seeking asylum from political violence at home. But now, the Pretoria government is tightening its immigration laws -- a move which could make it difficult for many Zimbabweans to remain. For VOA, Thuso Khumalo has more from Johannesburg.
Four years ago, the South African government granted amnesty to hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans -- who had fled to that country seeking asylum from political violence at home.  But now, the Pretoria government is tightening its immigration laws -- a move which could make it difficult for many Zimbabweans to remain. 

Turmoil in Zimbabwe over the years has forced huge numbers of Zimbabweans -- to flee into neighboring South Africa.
 
Some officials estimate that two million Zimbabweans now live in the country.

But life here has not been easy. Those who fled political violence have to line up for days -- sometimes even at night -- to apply for asylum.

Many of these immigrants say tough new immigration laws have made their lives difficult.

Under the new laws announced in May, some 300,000 Zimbabweans who were given amnesty permits are now required to return home to extend their visa.

Zimbabwean immigrant Dorcas Mero -- who is now bedridden after a serious road accident --said the new law has brought her life to a standstill. “I’m worried and I’m afraid as well, if they deport me in this situation, I’m afraid,” she said.
 
Her husband, Gift Nhidza, who was injured in the same accident, is in a similar predicament. “I’m very bitter about these new laws and I think the new minister of Home Affairs should revisit and engage the people about their problems,” he added.

Bishop Paul Verryn, of the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg, compares the new immigration laws to those from South Africa's discriminatory past. "It feels as if we are dealing with the same kind of complications as we dealt with, with the past laws in the old apartheid era,” he explained. 

These immigrants say their fate is now in the hands of the South African government.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: kollen from: kwaMashu
July 06, 2014 4:14 AM
why zimbabwean at least they got permit,why cant you do the same to the Nigerian,malawian,congolese,its like you are holding a grudge.there are lots of foreigners who are walking freely without even a permit but now you puting a hard blow to zim pple who are legally staying,but dont forget that you are also a human being like the zimbabwean next to you,I will never allow you to stand on my way,and noone will go back,what we did to apply here is the same way we are doing.do you think the our emloyer will wait fo us once we go back to zim and who will give me money to come back,YOU ARE TOO HARSH to innocent pple.


by: collen from: kenfield
July 05, 2014 4:10 PM
what about our pakage since we were employed pwerminantly,our kids with the south african woman,our UIF and our persion,plus we are not scared bcose the day i came here you didnt gave me money.you deport me today i came back the following day,i cant let my family die when i know where i can get food,its going to b a war watch my words,we are there one supporting our parents no mugabe or tsvangirai those are there to see us suffer,


by: Revai from: Scotland
June 22, 2014 1:18 AM
Dzokerai kumba

In Response

by: Patty Shayne from: UK
June 22, 2014 4:07 AM
Easy for u to say. Why don't you go back home as well?


by: prince from: jhb
June 16, 2014 4:23 AM
Such is life to us zimbabweans ,it never rains it pours,now it will be back to border jumping! We have to survive ,back home things r bad.


by: Sammy
June 13, 2014 2:27 PM
Briefly it would help if VOA mentioned what these new regulations were.

In Response

by: Patty Shayne from: UK
June 22, 2014 4:02 AM
True, I agree with you Sammy

In Response

by: thandeka from: jhb
June 14, 2014 2:05 AM
We have too much going on to us South Africans alone we don't need to deal with Zimbabwe as well, they should go back to their country. I wish SA was strict as Botswana

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid