South African Police on Friday started removing refugees who have been camping at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) offices in Pretoria.
The latest development came after a group of refugees scaled the UNHCR fence on Thursday to escape eviction, following a court order on Wednesday which gave them three days to vacate the area around the building.
On Thursday, the Sheriff of the High Court read out the order granted by the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria and pinned it to the gates.
Hundreds of refugees are asking to be resettled in another country, as they fear xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
They have been living on the pavements, in tents and makeshift structures, outside the UNHCR offices since the beginning of October.
Their presence led to an urgent application by the Waterkloof Homeowners’ Association and Brooklyn and Eastern Areas Citizens’ Association, which was granted.