Sun Oct 23 03:37:38 CAT 2016

left to starve in road

By unknown | Jul 28, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

Hundreds of displaced foreigners camping on a Krugersdorp roadside for almost a week are ready for any government action against them.

"We are prepared for anything and everything that might happen to us," Burundian national Habona Abdul, 32, said.

"We were kicked out of our communities, temporary shelters and then the Lindela repatriation centre," Abdul said. "What more abuse can we suffer from fellow Africans?

"We are voiceless, that is why the Gauteng government is treating us this way."

Yesterday the area was filthy and littered with papers, bottles and tree branches set alight for warmth. They had not bathed since last Wednesday.

"The last time I had a bath was on July 19 at the Glenanda camp, south of Johannesburg, before we were forcibly removed by the government,"Alexis Nduwimana, 31, from Burundi, told Sowetan.

When Sowetan visited yesterday refugees claimed they were physically and emotional abused.

They claimed that they were assaulted at the Glenanda camp and at Lindela.

They said food and basic needs were now a daily challenge. Nobody was providing them with food or water and they were faced with starvation.

Many said they were prepared to be deported because they were no longer safe in South Africa.

Meanwhile, the African Diaspora Forum told a media briefing yesterday they believed they had bridged the communication barrier between the refugees and provincial government.

Forum chairman Mark Gbaffou said: "We have identified 278 foreigners who want to be returned home and 189 who want to be reintegrated into communities but not the ones they left.

"About 130 have refused to sign or register with us or inform us of their demands."


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