Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said the 140 people, including about 80 children, were removed from the sports field in Durban’s Chatsworth suburb. The site had previously served as a refugee camp when foreign nationals fled xenophobic violence that rocked Durban in April this year.
“They refused all assistance offered by government and NGO’s and also refused the integration packages offered by the UNHCR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees],” said Naicker.
The camp was officially closed on June 30, but the foreign nationals had remained, camping illegally on the field. Naicker, speaking from Chatsworth police station, said that the operation to clear the field involved the eThekwini Metropolitan Police, the department of social development, the municipal officials and the SA Police Services.
He said they would be charged for contravening the bylaws of the city, as well as in terms of the Child Care Act.
Naicker said all children were handed over to the department of social development to be accommodated at a home in the area. He did not have exact numbers as police and officials were still processing and charging the foreign nationals.