Still no solution for displaced foreigners on KZN farm

2015-09-21 12:26

Durban - The Cato Ridge couple who opened their farm to 138 foreign nationals two months ago say their guests are still living there, despite threats to evict them.

Andrew and Rae Wartnaby, both 47, who live on Hope Farm in Killarney Valley in KwaZulu-Natal, took in the foreigners who had fled their homes following a spate of xenophobic attacks earlier this year.

The couple was told by the Mkhambathini and Msunduzi Municipalities that they had contravened land use by-laws and gave the foreigners until September 6 to move out.

"On September 7 the municipality came and asked us if the foreign nationals were still here but they didn’t come with a solution," Andrew Wartnaby said.

"We told them that [the foreigners'] attorneys were exploring every legal avenue especially one of a third country, because most of them can’t go back to Burundi or the Democratic Republic of Congo."  

He said the family hadn’t heard from the municipality since then.

        The children at the farm attend a class. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

"We are determined to keep them here for as long as they need to be. It’s been two months now and we are doing well. Rae and some volunteers are offering home schooling for the children.

"The parents are also helping out on the farm… we have really become a close knit family.

"Their children have become friends with my children and they watch TV together. The teenagers have become friends with my teenagers and we have all developed real friendships."

Hoping to find a solution

He said the family would meet Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Fatima Chohan on Tuesday. Home Affairs spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete said information about the meeting was not immediately available.

"We are hoping to find a solution and that we have a happy ending."

Wartnaby admitted that donations had slowed down and that the family needed some help from the public.

"We have one vehicle that goes to the clinic and the hospital twice a week to collect chronic medication. We also take them to Home Affairs to keep their papers in order.

"They are healthy but it's keeping them healthy that is a problem."

He pleaded with the public to assist with basic food items as well as learning material.

Mayor of Mkhambathini Municipality Thobekile Maphumulo said the municipality has nothing against the foreign nationals.

"We will start implementing the by-law and start to charge [Wartnaby] because we all agreed that the foreigners would be gone by September 6. Our lawyers are working on the case and they will send letters to him," said Maphumulo.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  refugees  |  xenophobia

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
 

How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…

 
 

You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.