Standoff after foreign nationals thought their food, nappies were being stolen

2015-05-13 17:06
(File: News24)

(File: News24)

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Durban - There was a standoff between foreign nationals and the waste collectors at the Chatsworth refugee camp on Wednesday morning over suspicions that the workers were stealing food and nappies, the KwaZulu-Natal police said.

SAPS spokesperson Jay Naicker said when workers from eThekwini Municipality’s Department of Solid Waste arrived at the camp to remove refuse, the foreigners at the camp refused to allow the workers from DSW to leave the camp.

“They alleged that the workers had stolen nappies from the site. We sent out our Durban Public Order Policing Unit to stabilised the situation. No case has been registered,” said Naicker.

A police source who spoke to News24, on condition of anonymity, said he was part of a team of officers that were called to the scene to stabilise the situation.

“There was old food and waste that DSW went to collect and then the foreigners accused DSW of stealing their food and taking their waste without permission.

“The foreign nationals did not understand that DSW had to clear the old food and also to take the waste for hygienic purposes.”

The police source said the foreign nationals then basically held DSW workers hostage as they closed the gates and refused to let the truck out of the camp.

“They demanded to know where the truck was being taken, they raised their voices and even took out the keys of truck and later gave them to the police. We had to explain to them that the waste had to be removed. And we also told them that once the food was taken by the truck they could not consume it because it was unhygienic.

“Home affairs arrived shortly after that and they started doing the paper work and by this time things had really calmed down. The metro and SAPS members were called to monitor the situation,” said the officer.

Another police source said that residents of the camp believed that DSW were going to steal their food.

“But after police intervened and explained that this was not the case, matters became peaceful,” he said.

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