Living conditions at camp inhumane - foreign nationals

2015-04-15 17:13
(Amanda Khoza, News24)

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban - Foreign nationals living in the Isipingo Beach camp have described the living conditions as inhumane.

Vice chairperson of the Malawian tent, Abdul Shumba, 23, said on Wednesday that he was ready to be deported back home. 

"There are more than 70 men sharing this tent. The conditions are bad and we live like animals.

"When it's hot it's too hot and when it is cold it's too cold. We don't want to live here anymore we want to go back home.

"We like living in South Africa but it's the South Africans that don't like us," said Shumba.

Denise Blose, 18, from the Democratic Republic of Congo said in the women's tent there are more than 50 women sharing their space with 30 children.

"We sleep at around 22:00 because we are afraid of being attacked. We sleep like spoons packed in a cupboard, that's how full we are. It's not safe to go to the toilets alone at night. The toilets are also very dirty," said Blose.

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

Juliet Nadayagige, 32, is nine months pregnant and says she's afraid of welcoming her baby into the camp.

"My feet are swollen and I am always tired. But what I fear the most is bringing a baby back to this place. I have no baby clothes, no blankets and no food for the baby. I'm scared," she said.

Nadayagige arrived in South Africa in 2013 to find work.

"I was selling underwear, cigarettes and sweets in Isipingo. I have two other children I'm supporting," said the woman from Burundi.

She says she hasn't thought of a name for the baby yet not does she know the sex of the baby.

"I am supposed to be going to the doctor tomorrow but I am too scared of being attacked. If the officials don't take me then I am not going there," she said.

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

Twelve-year-old Ellena Mullasi from the Democratic Republic of Congo said she came to South Africa when she was little.

She said she was afraid when the attacks happened.

"All my friends were busy laughing at me... so I just hurried back home, I was so afraid I was checking if people would hit me - I didn't know what was happening," she said.

"When I got home I thought that my mother and father were hit... I am lucky that my mother ran away to eThekwini and my father was in eThekwini too.

"We went and stayed by the police. We had no blankets... we were catching colds [and] I had a fever, so the police told us we are going to come over here at the camp at Isipingo Beach."

She also lamented the conditions at the camp.

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

"When we came over here, it was very bad. It was raining and the children were getting ill. We are living in a dirty place. The toilets are far," Mullasi said.

"Yesterday  [Tuesday] night we thought they were going to come because... we saw some cars and lots of people around here. But luckily the pastor came and started praying.

"We really want to go to school."

Read more on:    durban  |  xenophobia  |  crime

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