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WATCH: Cape Town refugees now squatting outside District Six Museum

Published Mar 4, 2020

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Cape Town - Refugees who were forcibly removed on Monday from an open field in District Six have now decided to squat outside the District Six Museum.

On Monday, chaos ensued after the group who were living outside the Methodist church in Greenmarket Square were forced to leave after an interdict was granted to the City of Cape Town to have by-laws enforced.

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The group then made its way to an open field in District Six but was removed with force by the City’s metro law enforcement officers. The refugees, who were forced to flee their homes last year, have spent nearly six months on the streets of Cape Town.

One of the refugees, Lourence Ntomba, said: “It was the worst thing we could imagine, being removed from a park, an open space. Coming to remove us, and with force, was inhumane and too much for us.”

She said the refugees had lost faith in the City and government.

Refugees who were forcibly removed on Monday from an open field in District Six have now decided to squat outside the District Six Museum. Picture: Marvin Charles/Cape Argus

“We are not considered as humans. We just hope for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to come out and say something; we need some answers,” she said.

Many of the refugees currently living on the streets refuse to go back home because of violence in their communities.

An intergovernmental task team meeting was held yesterday to discuss the refugees. Chairperson of the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on home affairs Bongani Bongo has called for the immediate resolution of the situation. “It is untenable that the situation continues to persist, despite numerous attempted interventions that have not yielded desirable results.

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“We would like to urge refugees to comply with the laws of the country and with the by-laws of the City of Cape Town,” Bongo said.

Refugees who were forcibly removed on Monday from an open field in District Six have now decided to squat outside the District Six Museum. Picture: Marvin Charles/Cape Argus

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Cape Argus

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