TENSION HIGH AFTER COPS, REFUGEES CLASH

Pretoria News, 17 July 2008

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The situation was tense at the Glenanda Camp for xenophobia victims in Johannesburg last night as police were said to be forcing the refugees to go into their tents. "The situation is getting very tense here as the police are forcing people to go inside the tents. "Some of the men are trying to flee from the camp," said activist Pastor John Mulumba. Heavily armed police were on the scene following an exchange of stones and rubber bullets between camp dwellers and police earlier yesterday. On Wednesday night, residents at the camp locked in security guards. Police came to release them yesterday morning but residents refused to let them leave and threw stones at the officers. Councillor Dennis Jane said residents formed a human barrier around the fence of the administrative area and would not let the police or guards pass. He said police fired rubber bullets when they refused to disperse. Earlier, police spokesperson Superintendent Lungelo Dlamini said 10 people, including seven women, were arrested for public violence. According to Mulumba: "The problem here was started by the cards the (Home Affairs) Department is issuing. "Some of the people refused to take these cards because they are only valid for six months." He claimed that Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told the refugees at the camp that if they did not take the cards they would be deported. "You cannot just address people like that," said Mulumba.