INTRODUCTION: More than 1,000 squatters were arrested in a dawn swoop by South African police on a camp at Nyanga near Cape Town on Wednesday (19 August).
GV EXTERIOR Church camp at Nyanga.
SV Mothers and children. Babies being fed and crying. (5 SHOTS)
SV & GV Refugees outside tents as Red Cross officials walk by. (4 SHOTS)
SV Woman hangs out washing.
SV PAN Food being prepared in Red Cross caravan. (2 SHOTS)
GV Food being distributed to homeless. (2 SHOTS)
SV Transkei couple being interviewed. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: More than 1,000 squatters were arrested in a dawn swoop by South African police on a camp at Nyanga near Cape Town on Wednesday (19 August). The government says they have no legal right to be there. They were transported back to the recognised black homeland of Transkei. The border was sealed off but police say the measure was routine and was not designed specifically to prevent deported squatters returning to Cape Town. Even so, 40 people who were evicted have returned to a Cape Town Church where other blacks -- up to 1,000 -- hid in order to avoid being taken from the city.
SYNOPSIS: The church hall looked like a camp as refugees trickled in all day. Many people were searching for lost relatives. About 250 children, among whom are 80 babies many suffering from diarrhoea, rash and coughs received medication from a mobile Red Cross clinic. The mobile clinic stayed open throughout the night. Most of the mothers and children stayed in three tents provided by the Red Cross.
Even so the church grounds presented a desolate scene as bewildered, tired, ill-clad people sat waiting round to see what would happen next. The Chairman of the Council of Churches the Reverend R.S. Ngcobo said many people had been told to go to Western Cape Administration Offices where they would be offered work. Meanwhile, confusion seemed to reign in the camp and most people tried to make the best of it. Daily chores had to be done and washing lines improvised.
Food was provided by the Red Cross. Many of those who had just returned from the Transkei enjoyed a scratch meal. South African Government Minister Piet Koornhof said the original raid was designed to defuse the situation after talks broke down between the government and squatters. A couple who had been transported in the original raid were asked through an interpreter why they had returned.
The husband said he had returned because he had left his wife behind in Nyanga. He added there was no work in Transkei. The squatters at Nyanga had defied police orders to move out of the camp for five weeks. The police set fire to the camp after moving the inhabitants to Transkei.