'SAPS and home affairs are not willing to meet us to resolve refugee protest'

The City of Tshwane claims the Department of Home Affairs and the South African Police Service (SAPS) are not willing to help resolve a longstanding protest by a group of refugees outside the UN Refugee Agency.

Demonstrators have staged a sit-in since October over xenophobic attacks in South Africa, asking the United Nations to provide support to them.

The protest prompted residents in the area to seek legal counsel in an effort to have the group removed but the judge overseeing the matter has urged residents to engage the group and all parties involved.

RELATED: Waterkloof and Brooklyn residents file papers to have protesters moved

City of Tshwane Mayoral spokesperson Omogolo Taunyane says they are looking to resolve the matter amicably.

The challenge that we are having now as the city is the Department of Home Affairs together with SAPS are just not willing to meet us so we can come to a consensus and to resolve this matter amicably.

Omogolo Taunyane, Mayoral spokesperson - City of Tshwane

We are willing to support SAPS in any operations that they would be implementing at that particular site. We do not have the capacity and it is out of our mandate for us to manage the registration or identification of people who are classified as refugees.

Omogolo Taunyane, Mayoral spokesperson - City of Tshwane

What we have asked is that both the Department of Home Affairs together with SAPS join us, identify the people at that site and that if there is a need for them to be moved somewhere and for alternative accommodation to be provided, then we will assist them to move the people to a different site.

Omogolo Taunyane, Mayoral spokesperson - City of Tshwane

Really this is something that should be handled by the Department of Home Affairs, DIRCO [Department of International Relations and Cooperation] and SAPS and they are simply refusing to do their job.

Omogolo Taunyane, Mayoral spokesperson - City of Tshwane

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