The refugees camping in front of the Cape Town Central police station have described the City’s issuing of fines as inhumane. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
The refugees camping in front of the Cape Town Central police station have described the City’s issuing of fines as inhumane. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Refugees slam 'inhumane' treatment by City of Cape Town

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Mar 25, 2020

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Cape Town - The refugees camping in front of the Cape Town Central police station have described the City’s issuing of fines as inhumane and using politics to make money out of the destitute.

This comes after the Citys law enforcement officers on Sunday issued R300 fines to more than 200 refugees for by-law transgressions, including sleeping on the pavement.

Ismael Kazadi from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said it was senseless of the City to issue fines to people who hardly made ends meet.

“We can hardly afford a loaf of bread to feed our kids and have been stuck on the pavement for almost six months with no job opportunities available.

“Now the City sees fit to fine us where do they expect us to get the money from?” he said.

Malanda Guy-Herve , who was fined for intentionally blocking and interfering with the safe and free passage of pedestrians or vehicles in a public space, accused the City of being the “enemy” of the refugees, adding that they were rejected by the homeless shelters when asking for food.

Safety and Security executive director Richard Bosman said the operation was carried out after the Western Cape High Court issued a final order in respect of the City’s application last week.

“The City has and will continue to do everything within its mandate to protect the interests of its residents and businesses by enforcing its by-laws and will hold those accountable who are in contempt of the court order,” he said.

Bosman said the City had tabled numerous offers of assistance to the group, including assistance to seek access to private shelters in accordance with the rules for access of those facilities taking into consideration the directives as set out by the Covid-19 National Disaster Notice.

However, Congolese Community Leader Papy Sukami said the City was constantly contradicting itself and sending out conflicting messages.

“The City recommended to us a list of 20 shelters which when we enquired, we were told they were full”.

@Mtuzeli

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Cape Argus

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