South Africa repatriates 589 pardoned Mozambicans

Wednesday May 13 2020

Residents of Cabo Delgado Province in northern Mozambique.

Residents of Cabo Delgado Province in northern Mozambique go about their business on June 11, 2018. South Africa on Monday repatriated 589 Mozambicans. PHOTO | FILE | AFP 

ARNALDO VIEIRA
By ARNALDO VIEIRA
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South Africa on Monday repatriated 589 Mozambicans who had been pardoned after serving part of their prison terms.

Among those sent home, 449 tested negative for the coronavirus Covid-19 and were directed to their provinces. The other 140 were still being held in an accommodation centre waiting to be tested.

On Monday, Mozambique recorded 12 positive cases of Covid-19 bringing the total to 103 cases. Some 21 patients have recovered, and no fatalities have been registered.

Mozambique confirmed its first positive case of coronavirus on March 28 from a 75-year-old citizen who arrived from the UK.

In March, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) expressed concern over the spread of Covid-19 after more than 14,000 Mozambicans returned from South Africa over the Ressano Garcia border within a span of a few days.

Hundreds of Mozambicans have been returning home, especially from South Africa, following lockdowns in several countries over the coronavirus. Mozambique has also sent home illegal immigrants from other African countries.

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On Thursday, about 350 Mozambique nationals coming from South Africa entered the country illegally through Ponta do Ouro border point.

According to the IOM it is estimated that more than 11 million Mozambicans are living abroad, with South Africa as one of its citizens’ top destinations.

Most of them engage in informal jobs in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province.

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