Pretoria - No solution has been found yet to the problem arising from the hundreds of foreign nationals who are camping outside the UN office in Brooklyn.
The parties appeared for the third time this week in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria court, but no order was issued as the various stakeholders still said they have to iron out the way forward as to how all the stakeholders could work together in dealing with the issue.
It was hoped that by this week the stakeholders - the City of Tshwane, home affairs and the police - would come up with a plan as to how to deal with the foreign nationals.
But the urgent application stood down on three consecutive days this week, so that the parties could meet and find a practical solution.
Counsel for the Brooklyn and Eastern Areas Citizens Association and the Waterkloof Homeowners Association on Wednesday afternoon, after the court session, again engaged with the various stakeholders to come up with a practical solution to the problems.
They want the court to issue an urgent interim interdict to prevent the foreign nationals from camping outside the UN building in Waterkloof between 5pm and 8am.
They also want home affairs to establish which of the foreign nationals are legally in the country and which are not. They want home affairs to deal with those who are illegally in the country, in terms of its immigration laws.
The residents further want the City to deal with the immigrants in terms of the municipal by-laws, for instance preventing them from causing noise, polluting and cooking and washing their clothes in the streets outside the UN building.
The City said their Metro police officers only have limited powers and cannot simply arrest anyone.
Home Affairs said it did not have the resources to go out on its own to establish who was legally in the country and who are not.
Meanwhile the homeowners complained as they hoped for an urgent order this week so that life in the east outside the UN office could return to normal.
The parties met for more than an hour today in chambers with Judge Natvarlal Ranchod.
When they returned to court it was agreed that the national and provincial commissioners of police would be joined as respondents to the application.
They will file their submissions regarding a solution to the issue by Monday and the parties will again meet back in court next Wednesday. It is hoped that by then the parties can agree on a plan as to how to work together to find a practical solution.
The City’s stance is that it cannot provide temporary housing for these foreign nationals, as it already has to deal with a housing backlog.
It is of the opinion that the provincial government and disaster management should step in to provide temporary accommodation.
It further said that the foreign nationals’ demands are not aimed at the City, as they want to be relocated out of the country. Thus, they said, home affairs and Dirco should deal with them.
A handful of the foreign nations were meanwhile back in court yesterday to try and establish their fate, as they are not represented in the application.
Alex Mongo Nkoy of the DRC said they have nowhere to go to and they planned on staying put. He said if the police arrived there to force them to leave, they should bring coffins along as the people are prepared to die.
“We are not violent people at all, but we will fight if they want to take us with force.”
Nkoy said they want the UN to move them to another country, as they were not safe in “xenophobic” South Africa.
According to him they had no gripe with the residents in the area and their presence there are solely aimed at receiving help from the UN.