Foreigners fear for their lives in South Africa

August 23rd, 2008 - 4:31 pm ICT by ANI  

Johannesburg, Aug 23 (ANI): South African Xenophobia victims have said they would fear for their lives if they had to return to the communities they had fled.

Most women were concerned about the safety of their children, who were also not at school, said Patrick Chauke, chairperson of Parliaments Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs during his visit to a shelter for those displaced by the violence in Midrand.

He said the aim of the visit was to also make the refugees understand the importance of reintegration.

We do no want to force them back to the communities they had left during the xenophobic attacks, said Chauke.

He said that if reintegration failed, they would be taken to another area.

We have a responsibility to provide housing, water and sanitation to everyone, this also applies to the foreign nationals, said Chauke.

On those foreigners who did not have proper documentation, he said the Department of Home Affairs classified them as illegal immigrants.

Chauke said government officials would have to talk to people living in the Ramaphosa informal settlement to understand their resistance to having foreigners live alongside them.

We are aware that people in Ramaphosa informal settlement do not want foreigners, but we have to meet with them and understand their reasons for refusing.

However, reintegration had already taken place in Gautengs Alexandra, Diepsloot, Tembisa, Thokoza, Bophelong, and Mohlakeng townships.

More than 62 people were killed and 17 000 displaced following xenophobic attacks that started in Alexandra, Johannesburg in May and spread all over the country. (ANI)

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