Pretoria – Teargas was used to break up a protest by foreigners at a deportation centre near Krugersdorp on Monday, the centre’s manager said.
George Masanabo, manager of the Lindela repatriation centre, said four beds were set alight during the protest and some pipes at the centre were damaged.
“We called the police to come and quell the situation,” he said.
The protesters wanted to be sent home without delay.
Warrant Officer Odette van Staden said they had demanded a meeting with senior home affairs officials.
“Inmates started breaking windows, burning mattresses and breaking toilet facilities. They damaged a computer in the information centre,” she said.
“The centre’s security used teargas to break up the riots. We are investigating cases of malicious damage to property.”
Police had not arrested anyone and no one was injured.
Masanabo said the cause of the protests at the facility, which houses 2 990 people, was believed to be frustration at the pace with which deportation cases were being handled.
“Foreigners were demanding to be deported [immediately], but we have our own internal processes,” said Masanabo.
Captain Jacob Raboroko said a group of about 100 Nigerians were at the forefront of the protest.
“The management made a promise on Friday to repatriate them back to their country on Monday morning. But when the promise was not kept, they got angry and started protesting,” he said.