Last refugee shelter for xenophobia victims to close

2015-06-22 18:49
Cyril Vezi at the Chatsworth camp set up to house thouse fleeing xenophobic violence.

Cyril Vezi at the Chatsworth camp set up to house thouse fleeing xenophobic violence. (Jonathan Erasmus)

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Durban - Durban’s last refugee shelter housing those who fled the recent xenophobic violence in the city will close at the end of the month.

eThekwini Metro municipality spokesperson Tozi Mthethwa said: “The Chatsworth interim shelter that was home to thousands of African immigrants during the attacks against African immigrants and looting of foreign owned shops, will be closed as from Tuesday,  June 30.”

She said that more than 5 000 people were catered for at the shelter which was established following the outbreak of xenophobic attacks against foreigners that started in early April.

Some of those housed at the shelter were repatriated while others returned to their respective communities.

“There was an outpour of support from various stakeholders including the non-government sector who donated food, personal hygiene and baby supplies. All the non-profit organisations who worked with the city at the shelter, did so on a voluntary basis, and were in no way being paid by the city for their generous service,” she said.

She said that since the violence had abated, the decision had been taken to close the shelter. Originally there were three shelters, with one in Verulam and one in Isipingo.

“We would like to thank all those who worked with government to create a truly united African continent and ensure that peace and harmony returns to the areas where there was violence against African immigrants,” said Mthethwa.

At least six people were killed as a result of the violence in the province with Umlazi, KwaMashu and Verulam areas surrounding Durban being the worst affected.

Read more on:    durban  |  xenophobia

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