Homeless old afrikaners teargassed in nelspruit

Elderly, homeless Afrikaner couple Chris and Chrissie Knoll are constantly  being shunted from their shelters by Nelspruit municipality – with teargas.

 http://bit.ly/kFBVKU – “Municipality refuses to offer the destitute old white couple any alternative accommodation before their forced-removal from a local park … even though this is required by law…

29 April 2011 – NELSPRUIT –  “After countless complaints by residents and the Lowvelder newspaper, the homeless couple Chris and Chrissie Knol were chased out of a shack on municipal land between the spruit and Ehmke Street near the Village shopping centre, ‘ writes Lowvelder newspaper journalist Ivan Geurtse. He reports that the impoverished, elderly white couple now moved a bit further down and are living under a pink umbrella on the next corner.

Homeless Afrikaners Chrissie and Chrissie Knol live underneath an umbrella Ehmke street Village centre Nelspruit Homeless Afrikaners Chris and Chrissie Knol previous shelter forcibly removed by Nelspruit municipality

“We keep the streets clean, we don’t steal copper’…

The couple said they live outdoors, but whenever it rained, they used to shelter beneath a roof at the shopping centre. When they were chased off there with teargas, they erected a better shack with a single bed and a roof which didn’t leak. However local residents, fearful that ‘other squatters’ would move in as well, demanded that the municipality ‘remove the culprits’.  Which they did. Their shack was torn down and the couple now are back to living out in the open, protected only by a pink umbrella.
(source: Ivan Geurtse)
Chrissie said the municipality has been forcibly removing them twice, and  illegally, without offering them alternative accommodation. The Knoll couple said they serve a purpose; they are keeping the streets clean in the area. Other squatters further down the spruit aren’t as useful: instead they are removing the copper from stolen electric cables, “they said.

————————

Comment by Adriana: I have contacted Mr Dirk Joubert, the Helpende Hand representative in Nelspruit, dcjoubert@gmail.com, at his telephone number  0137413136 (also 718766865 ). He undertook to look into the matter and investigate ways in which the Knoll couple can be helped by the private charity organisation, which is run by Solidarity trade union.

http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/lowveld/lowveld-news-general?oid=4353751&sn=Detail&pid=490169&Munisipaliteit-besluitloos-oor-plakkers-in-parkie

http://bit.ly/kFBVKU

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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