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Refugees to appear in court today

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Over 200 male refugees and asylum seekers will appear in the Krugersdorp District Court today to face charges under the Road Traffic Act after they slept on the side of the road for a week.

A police barricade was in place outside the court.

Those arrested allegedly hindered and obstructed traffic on a public road.

The group lived on the verge of the R28 between Krugersdorp and Randfontein for a week after being transferred from a shelter for xenophobia victims in Glenanda, Johannesburg to the Lindela detention
centre in Krugersdorp.

They had refused to register at the Glenanda camp, fearing that the temporary identity cards they would be given would cancel their existing immigration rights.

As a result they were taken to Lindela, a facility which detained foreigners believed to be in the country illegally, then either released or deported them.

But officials discovered that these people were in the country legally and released them to return to their South African homes.

The Department of Home Affairs had validated the documents that allowed them residence in South Africa and says that the refugees were now "on their own".
The immigrants stayed on the side of the road, saying they were too scared to return to their communities and would rather be repatriated.