South Africa deports African migrants after protests

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South African authorities say they have begun deporting 20 and asylum seekers were part of a months-long sit- against xenophobia.

They are mostly from African countries and were demanding to be resettled outside South .

Canada was some of migrants’ preferred choice, said South ’s Home Affairs department a statement.

Their sit- began outside offices of ’s refugee agency (UNHCR) in Cape Town in October 2019.

Hundreds of people took part in which lasted five months, and saw migrants occupy a church where they were given refuge.

At the time the migrants said they did feel safe because of xenophobic attacks in South ’s townships, and that they were treated poorly and discriminated against.

Since 2008, there have been numerous outbreaks of xenophobic violence targeting foreign nationals from the rest of the continent in townships across the country.

Migrants are often targeted in the communities where they live, accused of stealing and resources.

A Burundian woman the BBC spoke to earlier this year said she fled unrest in her home country years earlier for South Africa, a place where she thought she was safe, but was attacked and raped by a man remained at large.

‘Due process’
Despite requests made by the BBC, South African authorities have disclosed the names nor the destination countries of the 20 people being deported.

In a statement, the Department of Home Affairs said it had followed “due process”, adding that “the affected foreign nationals have already been transferred to Lindela Repatriation Centre for deportation purposes”.

According to BBC’s Nomsa Maseko in Johannesburg says migrants are expected to be deported.