Officials from Malawi and South Africa are discussing on how best South Africa can minimise the detention of Malawian economic refugees who are usually rounded up, bundled in police vehicles and dumped at Lindera camp.
Former minister of Foreign Affairs George Chaponda who had been appointed agriculture minister in a cabinet reshuffle said this at the end of the two day meeting on Thursday in Lilongwe.
“We have agreed that officials from Home Affairs, Immigration and Foreign Affairs of the two countries should meet within three months to discuss how best South Africa can stop the continued detention of Malawians,” said Chaponda.
He said usually they are detained for a prolonged period of over three months in dehumanising conditions.
A South African official, deputy minister of foreign affairs said his government was taking the matter seriously.
“We are positive that the outcome of these meetings will be positive,” he said.
Thousands of Malawians trek to South Africa, Africa’s economic powerhouse for economic reasons.
However, the South African government rounds them up, take them to Lindera camp before they are put on cargo plane, forced repatriation back to Malawi.
They usually leave everything, all the property and wealth they amassed for years, behind in South Africa.