Tensions flair at Isipingo refugee camp

Tensions flared when authorities closed down the camp & refugees refused to leave.

FILE: 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

CAPE TOWN - Tensions flared between foreign nationals and police when authorities closed down a refugee camp in KwaZulu-Natal.

Xenophobic attacks took over parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last month.

At least seven people were killed in the attacks.

Several refugee camps were set up to house those who were displaced.

One of the refugee camps in Isipingo was closed on Friday, but tensions mounted when refugees refused to leave in fear of being reintegrated into their communities.

National Director of Lawyers for Human Rights, Jacob van Garderen, said some foreign nationals complained about the use of violence by members of the police.

"We're very concerned about the aggression and corrosion that apparently was used to force people to vacate the camps and to relocate to the places where they came from."

Last week, the foreign nationals told Eyewitness News that they were petrified after being threatened by Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

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

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

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.'"

WATCH: EWN speaks to displaced foreigners in JHB.