INTRODUCTION: In South Africa, an estimated 800 people were arrested last Thursday (16 July) in dawn raids on Langa Township, a black settlement near Cape Town.
GV People sheltering under umbrellas in rain outside Crossroads squat camp
CU People singing, (2 shots)
SV Man digging trench and erecting shelter (2 shots)
SV's People standing round smouldering in rain (4 shots)
SV's Soup and bread being distributed (3 shots)
GV Man collecting water from outdoor tap
GV Water-logged area near shacks
GV Man digging drainage trench (2 shots)
GV PAN of camp administration board
GV Administration officials order people to remover the shacks that have been erected
SV's Officials look on as squatters are taken away in vans (3 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: In South Africa, an estimated 800 people were arrested last Thursday (16 July) in dawn raids on Langa Township, a black settlement near Cape Town. They were seized for violating South Africa's pass laws. Then on Sunday (19 July), police swooped again -- and 200 more were arrested. The second raid took place near Crossroads squatters camp -- a makeshift -- and illegal -- camp just outside Cape Town.
SYNOPSIS: Crossroads is a mud-strewn shanty town, but for hundreds of blacks, it is home. Late last week hundreds more arrived after being evicted from a barracks in the nearby township of Langa. Their offence was not having a pass book that allowed them to live in white areas of South Africa.
These were the people who escaped arrest during the raid on Langa. After eviction they moved to a field near Crossroads. During torrential rains and freezing temperatures, they laboured to dig drainage ditches and build shelters.
For more than three days they lived in the open, or under makeshift shelters. Some even gathered leafy branches around them and hid beneath them. Others had little more than a blanket or a shawl. Meanwhile, the rain continued.
The authorities say there is no place in white South Africa for what are called "illegal blacks". A senior official went on television after the police raid to complain that illegal blacks were withholding housing in the Western Cape from blacks legally resident there. With 2,300 waiting for houses, he said, there was no room for illegal residence.
The Government says the place for blacks is in black homelands. When the policy of separate development is complete, it says, all blacks will live in them. But the blacks say there are no jobs in the homelands. In one celebrated case, 27 black women who had been deported to the Transkei homeland returned illegally to Crossroads.
But the Government is determined to enforce its policy. After these people had been here three days, police and local authorities arrived to remove the settlement. After the shacks had gone, it was time for the people. Almost 200 were arrested, and driven away in large buses. The police said they would be investigated, and if their presence was proven to be illegal, they would be charged.