The Department of Home Affairs wishes to confirm an adverse incident whereby 69 undocumented foreign nationals who were awaiting deportation escaped from the Lindela Repatriation Centre in Krugersdorp.

The incident took place around 11:50 on Sunday, 17 March 2024.

Lindela is managed by facilities management company, EnvironMongz, which also provides security services on behalf of the Department.

Our investigation revealed there was an altercation between the inmates and EnvironMongz management and its security team. It was during this altercation that 69 undocumented foreign nationals escaped.

The Department is unhappy about the circumstances and the manner under which this escape happened because we believe enough could have been done by the management company and its security to prevent this incident. Hence, the contract is being scrutinised to decide on the best course of action.

As an immediate intervention, the Department has taken over the access control and other security functions at the facility by putting a different security company at the gate while the matter is still being investigated.

At the time of the escape, the facility was holding 1 521 undocumented foreign nationals who were awaiting deportation. The 69 escapees were part of this group. Most of these 1 521 undocumented foreign nationals were scheduled to be deported this week. Despite the event that took place over the weekend, the Department is still proceeding with this scheduled plan to deport to countries of origin. The scheduled deportations are to Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Eswatini and Zimbabwe.

As part of this scheduled plan, 622 deportees have departed the facility. 

Last week, the Department deported 1 050 individuals to Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.


Those who escaped on Sunday are from the following countries;

 Country of origin

 Number of escapees


















EnviroMongz has informed the Department that earlier on Monday morning there was another attempted escape which was immediately brought under control. One of the deportees succumbed to injuries that allegedly happened during the second attempted escape. This incident is now subject of police investigation in addition to how the escape of 17 March 2024 occurred.  As part of the probe, police have arrested two security officers and they are in custody.

Meanwhile the Department is working with other law enforcement agencies to track down the escapees. As a result, one escapee has already been re-arrested.


Media Enquiries:

Siya Qoza, ‪082 898 1657 (Head of Communications in the Department of Home Affairs)