Zimbabweans face end of South African amnesty

South Africa's government is withdrawing the special status granted to illegal Zimbabwean immigrants who fled their country's economic meltdown and political violence, a spokesman said yesterday.

Government spokesman, Themba Maseko, said South Africa will begin deportations after 31 December. The announcement brings to an end an amnesty which allowed Zimbabweans to stay in the country without passports and visas.

"After the December deadline, all undocumented Zimbabweans will be treated like all others and their deportation will resume," he said.