Fifty-one illegal migrants rescued from a plastics factory in Gauteng have been arrested and charged under the Immigration Act.
They were arrested during a law enforcement operation led by the Interior Ministry of a Chinese-owned factory that allegedly kept workers in slave-like conditions.< /p>
Based on information provided by a whistleblower, the Internal Affairs Inspectorate visited the Alberton factory, Ekurhuleni, on Monday evening, but was denied entry by security personnel.
< p>The Inspectorate returned on returned Wednesday in a joint law enforcement operation involving police, the Ministry of Employment and Labour, Metro Ekurhuleni and private security officials.
This led to the arrest of 51 illegal migrants from Malawi, Zimbabwe and China who were allegedly forced to work, eat and sleep in the factory.
“The 51 were subjected to inhumane and unspeakable working and living conditions at a factory owned by a Chinese national,” the department said.
Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi condemned the abuse and exploitation of people, including illegal migrants.
The factory manager was also arrested on Wednesday.
“She appeared with the 51 in Palm Ridge District Court on March 23. June and they were all charged under the Immigration Act.”
The owner of the factory was overseas. Law enforcement officials were also investigating a possible human trafficking case.
Motsoaledi warned businessmen who subject employees to such “cruel and barbaric” conditions and continue to employ illegal migrants that they would do so themselves exercise all the power of the law.
“I would like to thank all members of the public who continue to provide information leading to the arrest of these corrupt syndicates and unscrupulous employers who are breaking our laws.”
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