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SA Deports 36 Zimbabweans After Demanding Their Overtime Pay

SOUTH Africa's Home Affairs department has deported 36 Zimbabweans who had been stuck at a police station after being fired by their employer for demanding overtime dues.

The deportees arrived in the country by road through Beitbridge Border Post on Thursday afternoon. Among them were 32 men, four women and two minors.

The group is part of 241 Zimbabweans who were fired by their employer, TJ Van der Walt, from his Johannesburg Farm in Limpopo province. Zimbabwe's Consul-General to South Africa Batiraishe Mukonoweshuro yesterday said the embassy was working with the host government in resolving the issue.
SA Deports 36 Zimbabweans After Demanding Their Overtime Pay
"Their case is already being pursued through the Department of Labour and the police have also opened assault and kidnapping charges against the farmer and nine other managers. The Department of Home affairs has also laid charges of violation of immigration laws against him (Van der Walt

"The group has an organised structure and they will keep in touch until the matter is finalised," he said. The trial of Van der Walt has been set for August 25 at Liphalale Magistrate Court. The case was moved from Villa Nora Courts last month.

At least 65 of the Zimbabweans who were left stranded earlier last month at Liphalale Police Station are still holed up at Water Base Disaster Management Centre where a non-governmental organistaion, Gift of the Care Givers, is catering for their welfare.

The numbers of the group has been decreasing in recent weeks as some of them had started moving to other towns. Mukonoweshuro called on Zimbabweans seeking employment in the neighbouring country to ensure that they regularise their stay to avoid being abused.

"Even if they're undocumented, they're still entitled to proper remuneration in accordance with the country's labour laws," he said.
Source: Chronicle
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