51 immigrants rescued from ‘slave-like conditions’ in Ekurhuleni factory

51 immigrants rescued from ‘slave-like conditions’ in Ekurhuleni factory

Authorities have rescued 51 alleged illegal immigrants from a Chinese-owned factory in Ekurhuleni on Wednesday.

Crime scene, police tape
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The inspectors received a tip off about the alleged slavery of migrants at the plastic factory in Alrode but were refused entry on Monday.

“Home Affairs Inspectorate returned to the factory in a joint law enforcement operation that included the SA Police Service, the Department of Employment and Labour, Ekurhuleni Metro and the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority,” says the Department of Home Affairs’s Siya Qoza,

They found that the workers were allegedly forced to work, eat, and sleep inside the factory.

Qoza says the manager of the factory, who is also a Chinese national, was arrested alongside the 51 illegal immigrants.

The owner of the factory is believed to be out of the country.

The manager and all the 51 appeared at the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court on Thursday.

They have been charged in terms of section 49 of Immigration Act.  

“The owner of the factory is out of the country. Law enforcement officials are also investigating a possible case of human trafficking," says Qoza.

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