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Our builder was deported just before Easter.

Johannes lives and works in South Africa legally. He is supporting his wife here and family in his own country by helping us build our home.

He was arrested on his way to work while hanging out with friends in a nearby park and transported back to Lesotho because he had, carelessly we can agree, left his documentation at home and wasn’t able to reach his wife or a friend to bring them to the police station.

That was all.

As one of the officers explained to us, without malice but also without hint of interest in discussion or negotiation, there was nothing that could be done.

We don’t know how or exactly when he managed to tell his wife that he wouldn’t be home from work that afternoon.

Johannes was back at work this morning, cheerful and not obviously any the worse for his experience.

And I started thinking about his normal and mine, and how different they are.

(Sourcing content for the website I manage, I found this article just the week before Johannes was deported. It’s not the only one written about South Africa’s treatment of refugees and migrants.)