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» 13.07.2010 - Zimbabweans flee SA "xenophobia rumour"
» 20.04.2010 - SA to speed up black empowerment in mining
» 09.04.2010 - Is it too late to avert SA's war...?
» 08.04.2010 - Security tight for Terre Blanche’s funeral
» 29.03.2010 - Racist song "part of South Africa's heritage"
» 07.12.2009 - SA urged to improve health care for migrants
» 28.10.2009 - SA racism case back in court
» 30.04.2009 - SA accused of continued deportation of Zims despite moratorium

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South Africa
Human rights | Society

SA refugee camps' closure criticised

afrol News, 1 October - Closure of South African temporary migrant camps has sparked row and anger amongst rights groups and activists in the country.

Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres has sharply criticised forced closure of South African migrant camps over last two days, saying people were left stranded.

Closure of camps holding 1,200 foreigners who were forced out of their homes by May's xenophobic violence, came despite a ruling from Constitutional Court to keep them opened.

Gauteng provincial government argues that it is safe for foreigners to return to their homes. The camps were set up following attacks in which 62 people were killed and thousands displaced.

A spokesman for Gauteng provincial government, Simon Zwane said, "We have closed Glenanda, everybody moved out of there."

Mr Zwane also said process of giving financial assistance to refugees was under way.

Consortium for Migrants and Refugees in South Africa has accused Gauteng government of breaking the law by closing Glenanda temporary shelter.

Tents at Glenanda temporary shelter were dismantled yesterday, leaving scores of foreign nationals homeless.

"It is illegal to close the sites. The shelters cannot be closed according to the ruling issued in the Constitutional Court," said Cormsa spokesman Duncan Breen yesterday.

Mr Breen said government was obliged to continue providing services at shelters until a further interim order was issued by Constitutional court.

The residents were given notices to vacate shelter despite court ruling to keep camps open until it hears further arguments on 20 November.

The notice orders evacuation of those who had received assistance and those who refused to apply to ensure that they have alternative accommodation.

Cormsa puts the number of displaced at 100,000.

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