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S. Africa Opposition Presses Case For Refugee Camps For Zimbabweans

South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance party continued Tuesday to insist that establishing refugee camps is the best way for the country to handle the massive influx of Zimbabweans fleeing an accelerating economic collapse at home.

Opposition party officials reiterated their stance following a fact-finding visit Monday to the Beitbridge border post through which most Zimbabweans enter the country.

South Africa's Department of Home Affairs, headed by Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, earlier rejected the DA's proposal to set up refugee camps, and disputed its claims that an estimated 6,000 to 10,000 Zimbabweans daily cross the border illegally.

Other concerned parties, including the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, have dismissed the proposal, while the United Nations Office of High Commissioner for Refugees has said that the exodus of Zimbabweans does not warrant its intervention.

The Democratic Alliance said it will broach the issue with South Africa’s Human Rights Commission and the Cape Town-based parliament.

Democratic Alliance Home Affairs Spokesman Mark Lowe told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that although the seven-member DA mission did not see the full extent of the refugee flow, because most illegal border crossers move at night, the party is confident that its estimates are on target.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...