Go back home, immigrants told
Kwazulu-Natal's Centre for Civil Society yesterday called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to step in and halt xenophobic attacks in Durban.
This after 47 refugees were evicted by Metro police from Durban's Albert Park at the weekend.
The CCS spokesman, Oliver Meth, said as an immediate measure the UN has "to take responsibility and resolve the issue of xenophobia".
He said eThekwini municipality should also provide "alternative emergency shelter and ensure that refugees' basic human rights are protected".
The refugees themselves yesterday lashed out at municipal manager Mike Sutcliffe and Metro police head Eugene Nzama.
The mainly DRC immigrants accused the two leaders of giving police the go-ahead to remove them from the park because Sutcliffe and Mayor Obed Mhlaba were due to speak at a small business Imbizo at the park on Monday.
Akili Arthur Kabila, 30, from DRC said there were about 47 people, mainly children, living in the park.
"It has been four hard months in the park. No one is helping us with anything, including food or shelter," he said.
" Actually, what is happening is that we are victimised and assaulted by police."
He said on Saturday police came to the area and asked them to leave "because of the Imbizo".
"They assaulted us, took some of our money and some of our clothes. As it is, we are left with what we are wearing," he said.
"I personally lost my papers to be here and my education diploma."
Sutcliffe said the issue was very simple.
"The families have a choice of either going back to their countries or to the places in the community they were living in before the July problems.
"The municipality cannot suddenly prioritise their housing needs when we already have 200000 people with housing needs in the city itself."