INTRODUCTION: South Africa's tribal homeland policy has been challenged by a group of 27 black women who have defied a deportation order.
SV ZOOM OUT Children in Crossroads squatters' camp TO men and women attending meeting and singing
SV Crowd waving fists and singing (3 shots)
GV Plastic and canvas tents (2 shots)
SV PAN Child playing TO tin shacks (2 shots)
CU Man hammering boards on shack
CU Women with children and children playing (3 shots)
CU Miriam Mazalu speaking to Visnews' Michael Gavshon
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
(SEQ 7) MAZALU: "We are just coming here trying to help the other people who are staying here because we have nowhere to go."
GAVSHON: "What happened when you went to Crossroads, what happened to you then?"
MAZALU: "Mr. Lawrence (a Cape official come and asked us to go to the office and he promised us tomorrow to accommodate us. When we were at the office the inspector arrested us. In any way they didn't arrest us, they just appeared as if they were and said they arrest us."
GAVSHON: "And what did they do?"
MAZALU: "They are taking us to the buses and said they are taking us to Transkei, they are taking us to Transkei."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: South Africa's tribal homeland policy has been challenged by a group of 27 black women who have defied a deportation order. They have returned to a shanty town outside Cape Town against the orders of the authorities. After being evicted over a week ago they had been sent to Transkei, where they said they had no friends or relatives and no prospect of work.
SYNOPSIS: The women came back to the Crossroads squatter camp to be reunited with their husbands and children.
Families had been split up when the authorities sent the women by bus to Transkei, which is about 1,000 kilometres (about 700 miles) from Cape Town. It's one of South Africa's tribe homelands, or Bantustans, which the government declared an independent state in 1976. However, it has not been internationally recognised.
The 27 women were among a group of 150 squatters who had lived in other makeshift camps until moving to Crossroads a couple of weeks ago. Until then they had been living in church buildings after being evicted from their temporary home in a barracks last April. Under South African law, these men, women and children are illegal migrants, although many of them are said to have lived in and around Cape Town for up to 30 years.
The 27 women had been arrested, put on a bus by Cape authorities and taken to the Transkei border. But the women hired another bus and made their way back to their families in Crossroads camp. One of the women, Miriam Mazalu, told Visnews' Michael Gavshon what happened.