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South African xenophobia shelters to be dismantled
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10:09, August 13, 2008

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Foreign nationals who refuse to leave dismantled xenophobia shelters on Friday may face trespassing charges, the South African Gauteng provincial government said.

"They are all aware that the shelter will be closing," said spokesman Thabo Masebe.

"We will fold all the tents. If they remain there, then they will be trespassing and they will be dealt with the law."

Meanwhile, lawyers for the people remaining in the six shelters established after countrywide violence left over 60 people dead in May and June, were preparing an urgent application to the Constitutional Court to keep the sites open for the between three to four thousand people still living there.

"We hope to file it by tomorrow," said Stuart Wilson, one of the legal representatives for the group and head of the Center for Applied Legal Studies at Wits University.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Pretoria High Court dismissed an application on behalf of the foreign nationals by the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa and the Wits Law Clinic to keep the shelters open pending the introduction of a proper reintegration plan.

The application would be based on the Bill of Rights that guaranteed security, protection from arbitrary eviction, and the right to shelter.

The refugees knew the shelter was temporary but had taken no steps to make their own way and were now simply sitting back and trying to make their problem the government's problem.

Source: Xinhua

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