Refugees face trespassing charges as sit-in continues outside UNHCR offices

A case of trespassing has been opened against refugees camping outside the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Pretoria.

This is according to Eyewitness News Africa correspondent, Jean-Jacques Cornish.

Demonstrators have staged a sit-in since October because they fear xenophobic violence in South Africa and have asked that the United Nations help them relocate to other countries.

The High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday handed down a ruling ordering officials to start drawing up a list of protesters legally in the country as refugees and asylum seekers.

The process will take place while protesters are interdicted from breaking by-laws against erecting shelters, cooking, washing or littering the pavement.

Cornish says the refugees have now occupied the offices parking lot.

I fear that the police are going to move in anytime. A case of trespassing has been opened. I am not sure exactly who laid the case but a charge has been laid.

Jean-Jacques Cornish, Africa correspondent - EWN

We could see a forcible removal.

Jean-Jacques Cornish, Africa correspondent - EWN

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