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Landlord seeks court’s help to remove refugees camping outside UNHCR in Cape Town

A frustrated landlord is seeking the court's assistance to remove refugees camping outside UNHCR in Cape Town

The owner of the building in Cape Town in which the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees rents offices is seeking assistance from the court to remove refugees camping outside.

Refugees from Somalia, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Pakistan want the agency to help them leave South Africa.

Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith said on Monday that the City of Cape Town is seeking to impose City bylaws due to potential fire hazards from fires refugees use to cook food.

Attorney for the owners of the building Waleed Saban says other tenants are threatening not to pay rent.

Waleed Saban said the United Nations is occupying his client’s building as a tenant among other tenants in the building who are obstructed from getting into the building and doing their work.He said other tenants had threatened the landlord that they will not be paying their rent because they are not able to utilise their offices.

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Saban says there have been ongoing efforts with the sheriff of the court to carry out the court order with instructions to remove the people camping outside the building, but as yet has not been successful.

The attorney said he had been informed by the sheriff that they need to meet with  SAPS to make the necessary arrangements to get the additional manpower to carry out this task.

He claimed that the longer they took to rectify the situation the worse it would get for his client and the refugees who were caught in the middle of this.

Community leader for the Congolese refugees Papy Sukami says they went to the United Nations Refugee Agency in Cape Town to seek safe shelter.

Sukami says they did not come to South Africa with fortunes but rather to seek a peaceful life and that they could not force South Africans to love them.

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