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'It was like walking into a concentration camp, security guards on the dunes'

9 April 2020 9:21 AM
Tags:
Cape Town
Homeless
21 day lockdown SA
Strandfontein Sports Pavillion

A community worker describes the Strandfontein camp that has been created to house Cape Town's homeless during the lockdown.

Toni Tresadern of Thandanani, an organisation based in Welgelegen which collects food and distributes it to the homeless went out on Wednesday to Strandfontein where the City of Cape Town's homeless during the Covid-19 21-day lockdown period.

She went there to check in particular on a group of homeless people she has been caring for from Bothasig over the past few years.

She says she was told by SAPS and law enforcement in Bothasig before the relocation that the homeless would be well taken care of in Strandfontein and receive three square meals a day, mattresses, medications where needed, Covid-19 screeing and testing and more.

She describes to Refilwe Moloto what she actually saw when she got to Strandfontein.

They were not letting anybody in, not the press, not even SAPSare allowed in So I thought let me just go with food and wing it and just see.

Toni Tresadern, Community Worker -Thandanani

When I got there they were not allowing anyone in...but I had a kombi full of food and said we were very worried...and she let me through.

Toni Tresadern, Community Worker -Thandanani

My Bothasig homeless people saw me straight away...and ran to the fence screaming, shouting, crying.

Toni Tresadern, Community Worker -Thandanani

I saw the tents. But I am very disturbed that they have no mattresses, there is no social distancing, there is no loo paper,

Toni Tresadern, Community Worker -Thandanani

There is someone in charge of their tent that was there when they got there but has not been seen since so they have no one to air their grievances to.

Toni Tresadern, Community Worker -Thandanani

It is just horrendous. This whole thing was a shock to me. It is like going back in history and walking into a concentration camp. The dunes behind their tent are just filled with private security watching fro anybody to try and break free.

Toni Tresadern, Community Worker -Thandanani

It is a complete lock-up with private security surrounding the outside of the camp.

Toni Tresadern, Community Worker -Thandanani

When they got there they took a picture of each person and allocated a number and told them they would be there for a very long time. They asked why pictures were being taken and were told it is in case you escape and we can come and find you.

Toni Tresadern, Community Worker -Thandanani

It's a shocker. Human rights people have to get involved there.

Toni Tresadern, Community Worker -Thandanani

Refilwe Moloto says JP Smith and the City of Cape Town will be contacted and given a right of reply.

Listen to the interview below:


9 April 2020 9:21 AM
Tags:
Cape Town
Homeless
21 day lockdown SA
Strandfontein Sports Pavillion

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