Cape Town - Homeless people relocated to Strandfontein Sports Grounds have tried to make a break for it, reportedly after realising that the move was not just for the purpose of screening them for Covid-19.
Scores of homeless people have been moved to the site in accordance with national government's lockdown regulations which require local governments to provide suitable accomodation for the most vulnerable members of society.
According to JP Smith, the City of Cape Town's mayoral committee member for safety and security, a group of new arrivals from Somerset West were responsible for the ructions on Tuesday.
"They were under the impression that they would be allowed to return to their areas after being screened at the site, and when it became clear that they were required to remain in Strandfontein, a few of them pulled down one of the internal fences and four climbed over the perimeter wall. Three have since been apprehended.
"While some of the group has since indicated that they will remain on site, the City would like to make it clear that, according to SAPS, any person who leaves the site will be in violation of the national lockdown regulations and will be dealt with accordingly," Smith said.
He would not confirm reports of violence and property damage despite being presented with a video which was shared on a local crie watch Facebook page purportedly showing large numbers of people running around damaging fences and even hurling rocks.
Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato last week announced the relocation of around 2000 homeless people from across the metro after concerns were raised regarding the temporary housing of the homeless in tents in the city, but Strandfontein residents were fiercely opposed to the move.
* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's special #Coronavirus page.
** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za