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Zimbabwean man dies at Lindela deportation facility

A ZIMBABWEAN man died under unclear circumstances while being held at Lindela Deportation Facility in South Africa.

Ntando Ndlovu (36) from Lupane District in Matabeleland North Province is suspected to have died in December last year and his family only received the disturbing news on Tuesday morning.

Zimbabwe Consular General to South Africa, Mr Batiraishe Mukonoweshuro, said Ndlovu had been arrested for illegal migration.

"Ntando Ndlovu passed away on 8 December 2016 while at the South African deportation holding facility known as Lindela Deportation Facility. The facility houses illegal immigrants that would be awaiting deportation.

"Ndlovu was an illegal immigrant as he didn't have documents to validate his stay which led to his arrest. The cause of his death is still to be ascertained," he said.

Ndlovu's sister, Samukeliso, said the family was informed on Tuesday through the Lupane Registry office that he had died in South Africa two weeks ago.

"Ntando was the last born child in our family and his passing has left us devastated. The most painful part is that we will never know what caused his death or how he died. We knew Ntando as someone who was working in South Africa and then we suddenly hear that he is no more," she said.

Samukeliso said her elder brother Simon was advised to visit the Registry office to sign an affidavit to enable them to collect their sibling's body.

She said authorities from the neighbouring country had indicated that they had struggled to locate his brother's relatives as he did not have any form of identity.

"My elder brother was informed about Ntando's death on Tuesday morning. This news came as a huge shock to us. They told him Ntando died while being held at a prison in South Africa. We were not informed of the cause of his death, why he was arrested or which prison he was being held in," Samukeliso said adding that Ndlovu last communicated with his family in August last year.

She said he was staying with some relatives in the neighbouring country but he moved out in August and that was the last they heard from him. Samukeliso said her young brother was not involved in criminal activities but was a quiet and reserved person.

She said they were making plans for the body to be repatriated for burial at his rural home.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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