Camp site for foreigners dismantled

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa says the government will go ahead with the resettling of foreigners in temporary shelters despite a court order stopping this.

Shilowa said he had not received an interdict stopping the provincial government's plan to move displaced foreigners.

It was reported that Lawyers for Human Rights, the Johannesburg Central Methodist Church and Doctors Without Borders were granted an interdict preventing the transfer of foreigners to a temporary site in Vickers Road.

The government was given until Friday to address fears of further attacks after an initial decision to move foreigners from Jeppe and Cleveland police stations to Vickers Road in Kaserne.

But Shilowa said the decision to move the displaced foreigners to the site had already been reversed by the inter-ministerial committee on Monday because of security concerns.

Shilowa said the government would not compromise on the safety of foreigners.

The Gauteng department of local government has been forced to find an alternative relocation camp site for thousands of displaced foreigners at the Jeppe and Cleveland police stations.

The original site, a piece of veld sandwiched between George Goch and Jeppe hostels, was dismantled yesterday.

On Monday night the Johannesburg high court granted an interim interdict preventing the government from moving the immigrants to the Old Kaserne shunting station in Benrose.

The interdict was granted by Judge Kathy Satchwell after Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), the Central Methodist Church and Doctors Without Borders filed court papers complaining about the location of the site and its conditions.

But the government yesterday said the interdict would not have had an effect on its plans to move the immigrants.

Gauteng local government spokesman Thabo Masebe said: "We had security concerns about the site long before the court case."