As temperatures in Johannesburg drop below freezing, the city’s homeless are accusing the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) of confiscating their blankets in the early hours of the morning. GREG NICOLSON goes in search of the cold characters making the allegations, the vulnerable without a blanket for warmth.
“Feels like you want to die,” says 25-year-old Sonya, sitting in the central bus terminal, Gandhi Square. She’s wearing cargo pants, a jacket and her head is covered for warmth. She’s polite, only speaking when she has something to say.
Sonya has been on the streets for 13 years, leaving her Randfontein home when her mother died. In the last month, the JMPD have come four times to the Braamfontein hill where she sleeps, to confiscate blankets from the homeless, she says. It’s always late at night or early in the morning.”They just say they don’t want to see us again. But where must we go?” They don’t come in summer, only winter. “And no one does anything about it.”
Sonya (those we spoke to didn’t want their surnames published) was one of a number of Johannesburg’s homeless Daily Maverick interviewed on Tuesday about the Metro Cops confiscating blankets. On the footpath,…
Source : Daily Maverick