Minister threatens foreign nationals

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini threatened refugees who received donations from the EFF.

Young Malawian men sit inside their tent in the Isipingo camp on 25 April 2015, which has become a temporary home for people displaced by xenophobic violence in Durban. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

DURBAN - Foreign nationals in a camp for displaced people in Isipingo in Durban have told Eyewitness News (EWN) that they are petrified after being threatened by Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

Three weeks ago xenophobic violence flared up in KwaZulu-Natal then spread to Gauteng.

At least seven people have been killed in the violence.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) visited the camp yesterday to hand out blankets and mattresses.

The EFF arrives at the camp. They say they plan to take info about conditions to Parliament. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

But residents say an angry minister then turned on them also telling EWN to leave the area.

EFF leader Julius Malema helps to hand out mattresses and blankets donated by his party to residents of the Isipingo displacement camp in Durban on 25 April 2015. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

Several refugees reported being threatened by Dlamini for accepting donations from the EFF.

"She said to me 'oh you are supporting Malema? That is a problem.'"

It comes a day after a camp resident was brutalised allegedly by the police.

Clutching a donated mattress, a resident of the Isipingo temporary displacement camp collects her washing which was left to dry on a fence on 25 April 2015. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

Now fearful, a man says he's begging for intervention from the United Nations commissioner for Refugees.

"We need the UN to come and help us please. We are in danger and we are not safe here anymore."

A furious Dlamini also told EWN that no photographs would be allowed during her visit.


An asylum seeker is recovering in hospital after he was injured in an apparent scuffle between police and foreigners at a displacement camp in Isipingo.

The altercation was apparently sparked by an attempt by authorities to take down some of the tents housing people who have been displaced in recent flare ups of xenophobic violence.

Picture supplied by community leader Willy Chikuru (also took the image) - allegedly showing Burundian national Juma Saidi unconscious after being hit by police at Isipingo displacement camp in Durban.

Burundian asylum seeker Juma Saidi apparently lost consciousness after he was hit on the head with a pistol after an altercation with police members, when authorities tried to take down several tents.

The residents say when they protested, police became heavy-handed.

Friends of Saidi say he is in a coma, and they do not know whether he will survive, while other fearful residents appear traumatised and shocked and say they do not know who to trust.

WATCH: EWN speaks to displaced foreigners in JHB.