Refugees refusing to abide by laws could be deported: Bongo

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Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs says the deportation of foreign nationals refusing to abide by South Africa’s laws may be the only solution to the ongoing crisis in Cape Town.

Committee chairperson, Bongani Bongo says a meeting of stakeholders is planned for early next week. This comes as a group of about 200 people are still camping out on the street close to the Cape Town Central Police Station. This follows their removal from around the Greenmarket Square at the weekend.

Video: Committee on Home Affairs says deportation may be the only solution to the ongoing migrant crisis in the City:

Bongo says the committee is trying to secure a meeting with the UNHCR, City of Cape Town, Home Affairs and the refugee steering committee.

“They are here on the basis of the treaty that we have signed with the United Nations. So, they have to abide by the treaty or the law of the Republic. If they can’t abide by any of these laws, then we want to approach government to say they must be deported back to their home countries where they come from because the City of Cape Town now is held at ransom by them, with them wanting to fight law enforcement officers. I think South Africans are not taking it lightly that people who are non-South Africans want to fight with law enforcement agencies and it sends the wrong precedent and it is getting unacceptable.”

It’s the third day after the City enforced a court order allowing it to enforce its bylaws on Sunday. But for now, it seems as if those living on the streets in Albertus Road are going nowhere.

In the video below, police remove refugees from Cape Town streets following a court order:

Bongo says a report by Home Affairs on the exact number of asylum seekers is in the process of being completed.

“We will then make a strong recommendation that these people must be taken back to their home countries because we have done everything in our power, as a United Nations, and as South Africa in terms of the law that we agreed will be engaged around foreign nationals.”

In the video below, Parliament says the refugees must obey the law. 

The City of Cape Town has indicated that it will have a media briefing on Thursday on the efforts it had taken to resolve the conflict, as well as to map out the way forward.

Another group of foreign nationals is still living at the Central Methodist Church.