- A former councillor and community leader in the KwaSizabantu area claimed people were swiftly kicked out of the mission if rules were broken.
- He said regardless of age, if you committed an infringement, you would be expelled.
- He said many stayed at the mission to earn a salary so that they could feed their families.
If rules at the KwaSizabantu Mission were ever broken, people were kicked out with only the clothes on their backs, a former councillor said on Tuesday.
Mlangeni Gasela, a former councillor and community member in the area, said that while he was never part of the mission, the surrounding community were aware of stringent rules imposed on those admitted to the mission.
He was speaking at the CRL Rights Commission hearings on KwaSizabantu at the Garden Court Hotel in Durban on Tuesday.
The commission's investigation followed a News24 exposé which revealed allegations of sexual assault, physical and psychological abuse, and financial crimes at the mission.
Gasela said that many in the mission, such as drug addicts and "people who fell on hard times" were ruthlessly kicked out.
"If you did anything wrong, you were asked to get into a car. Then you would be driven out of the mission with what you are wearing."
During his testimony, he said any infringements on strict rules within the mission were met with immediate expulsion.
He said age also didn't matter.
"Regardless of your age, if you break any rules that are imposed, you will be chased out. Many of the youth are drug addicts as well."
Gasela said that while he didn't have an exact number of people he had spoken to, "there are so many".
He said the rules would not allow the smallest of indulgences.
"Once you are inside, you cannot even have things like newspapers. Even television is not allowed. They are not allowed to use a cellphone. Whenever [you] try to talk to them [people in the mission], you cannot because of the boundaries. You cannot do whatever you want over there."
He said many relied on the mission because of money and therefore had to endure their rules.
"They say they are not comfortable, but there are job opportunities. If they can get R2 000, they can feed their children and give them supper."
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