Chil­dren held il­le­gally at de­ten­tion cen­tre

Mail & Guardian - - Health -

Dozens of chil­dren have been il­le­gally de­tained at

Lin­dela Repa­tri­a­tion Cen­tre in Krugers­dorp, a re­port by med­i­cal hu­man­i­tar­ian or­gan­i­sa­tion Doc­tors With­out Borders (MSF) re­veals.

Pri­vate se­cu­rity com­pany Bosasa has run the Lin­dela Repa­tri­a­tion Cen­tre, in­clud­ing its clinic, since 2007. Services pro­vided by Bosasa at Lin­dela are al­legedly poor — a 2016 MSF re­port shows some de­tainees have been de­nied life­sav­ing care.

Seven sus­pi­cious deaths in 2015 still haunt the halls of the de­ten­tion cen­tre.

The MSF doc­u­ment re­veals that, in five of the seven deaths, peo­ple had con­sulted the clinic mul­ti­ple times — only to be given headache tablets as their con­di­tions wors­ened.

Home af­fairs spokesper­son Thabo Mok­gola has de­nied that chil­dren are de­tained at Lin­dela. But since 2016, an MSF pae­di­a­tri­cian iden­ti­fied about 50 mi­nors there.

The chil­dren were trans­ferred to places of safety with the help of the de­part­ment of so­cial de­vel­op­ment.

With­out a more in-depth screening process, the in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion warns that mi­nors could still be slip­ping through the cracks. New ar­rivals to the de­ten­tion fa­cil­ity are also not ex­am­ined to de­ter­mine whether they may have tu­ber­cu­lo­sis (TB) or HIV.

Lin­dela has a dark his­tory of hu­man rights abuses.

The South African Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion has ac­cused the cen­tre of abus­ing de­tainees’ rights in in­ves­ti­ga­tions span­ning al­most 20 years.

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