Cape Town – A Home Affairs-led law enforcement operation reportedly rescued 51 alleged illegal immigrants from a Chinese-owned factory in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng on Wednesday.
Speaking to the media, Home Affairs Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi said that Home Affairs authorities received information from a whistleblower about the slave-like conditions in the Chinese-owned factory.
The departments’ authorities went on Monday evening but were refused entry.
“It’s clear that they were refused entry because the people inside that factory were locked in, they may not go out. We understand that they work in that factory, they sleep there and do everything there and are never allowed to go out,” said Motsoaledi.
The departments’ authorities turned away but went back to the factory on Wednesday in a joint law enforcement operation that included other authorities such as the police, the Department of Employment and Labour, Ekurhuleni Metro and the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority.
They found and arrested 51 illegal immigrants including the manager of the factory who is a Chinese national.
“The owner who is also Chinese is still at large and the law enforcements are looking for him,” Motsoaledi said.
A Home Affairs-led operation has raided a Chinese-owned factory in Alberton that was keeping 51 people in slave-like conditions. Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has the details. #Newzroom405
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) June 24, 2022
According to The Citizen, the factory manager together with the 51 immigrants appeared at the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court on Thursday and were charged in terms of section 49 of the Immigration Act.
Motsoaledi thanked the public members who continue to report such illegal and corrupt syndicates.
“I would like to thank members of the public who continue to provide information that leads to arrests of these corrupt syndicates and unscrupulous employers who break our laws,” said Motsoaledi as quoted by the report.
Compiled by Sinothando Siyolo