Court refuses to interdict Cape Town refugees
The refugees remain in and around the Central Methodist Church on Greenmarket Square.
Their decision to move was postponed over the past few weeks due to the tragic drownings of a number of children from their community.
The court has ruled that it is not granting us the interdict to move them. It is expecting the Department of Home Affairs, SAPS, and the City to meet with the refugees before the matter reappears before the court on Friday - and we must seek some kind of solution, which I think is a tall order.JP Smith, Mayco Member for Safety and Security - City of Cape Town
Smith says the reason they took the matter to court was that no solution has been found over the past seven weeks.
The options that are acceptable to the refugees are beyond our reach, or not legally possible.JP Smith, Mayco Member for Safety and Security - City of Cape Town
He says Home Affairs is included in the court papers because, in the absence of a DHA intervention, all that remains is a law enforcement intervention.
We would prefer not to be in a situation where you have to rely on law enforcement.JP Smith, Mayco Member for Safety and Security - City of Cape Town
With limited tools available, Smith says the City has used its by-laws on what he says is a 'comparatively amicable basis.'
But every time we do so, we are blocked by a particularly hostile group of men who become quite violent and abuse, which would then require a much larger group of law enforcement.JP Smith, Mayco Member for Safety and Security - City of Cape Town
The City of Cape Town is meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss the court ruling and how to implement it.
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