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Zimbabweans die in SA detention centre

TWO Zimbabweans – one of them a pregnant woman – have died under unclear circumstances while awaiting deportation at the Lindela detention centre in South Africa, a senior Zimbabwe consular official in Johannesburg, confirmed yesterday.

In a telephone interview, the official said the two died on Monday and Tuesday last week.


“I can confirm that a man and a woman reported to have been pregnant, died at the centre last week.. We understand that the man was suddenly taken ill and began vomiting blood before he died. We are still to establish the full details of the incidents and will be going there (Lindela) tomorrow (today) to investigate the matter,” the official told Chronicle from Johannesburg.

The official withheld the identities of the deceased as their next of kin were yet to be informed.
“Our first priority is to make sure their families are notified. We will then establish the circumstances surrounding their deaths. At the moment their bodies are still at Lindela,” said the official.

Reports from Johannesburg yesterday said the woman died from complications after allegedly failing to get proper medical attention.
They said the clinic at Lindela – a holding camp housing thousands of illegal immigrants awaiting deportation – was illequipped to handle serious cases.

According to the reports, there is rampant abuse of detainees who live in dehumanising conditions in overcrowded cells at the centre, just outside Johannesburg.