Motsoaledi expresses shock over foreign nationals removal from church

Image: GCIS

Motsoaledi says authorities are seeking to clarify the series of events

Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, has described as surprising, the removal of foreign nationals from the Central Methodist Church at Green Market Square to Bellville.

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato says the move was premature, this after police moved over 500 people to Bellville, some 20 kilometres away, on Thursday without the City’s agreement.

Plato says the City of Cape Town is preparing an alternative site in Wingfield, near Maitland.

Motsoaledi says authorities are seeking to clarify the series of events. “We are surprised and it is difficult to know who doesn’t understand who. The land where we moved these people was chosen by the Minister of Public Works together with the CTN Mayor. And the Minister of Police complained to me because you told me that the Premier of the WC said we must come help because police must help. And when we do so, we are being condemned. So we thought we needed to put things into perspective about what happened. That is why in the statement we are trying to follow up on the sequence of events of what happened when and who said what.”

In the video below, Minister Aaron Motsoaledi speaks to the SABC News:

Some of the foreign nationals who have been moved from the Central Methodist Church in Cape Town are unhappy about their new accommodation.

The group is now living in a marquee tent in Bellville.

Spokesperson Caroline Shembe says the tent is already overcrowded and it is difficult to sleep.

The foreign nationals want President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene in the matter.

Shembe says they are now more exposed to the coronavirus than inside the church they were removed from on Thursday.

The City of Cape Town says the current living conditions of the foreign nationals are in violation of the lockdown regulations. Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith says the group cannot live in such appalling conditions.

“We will well then also have to remove the people from Paint City as photographs from there clearly demonstrate that the lockdown regulations are being violated and people have been packed on top of each other.”

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