REFUGEES in Cape Town said only God will save them from the coronavirus.

The group of more than 200 refugees said they could not practise social distancing as they lived in groups on the streets. They have been on the streets for the past six months and have been at loggerheads with the City of Cape Town, who accused them of breaking its by-laws.

Mariam Kandofu (44) from the DRC said: “We sleep, eat and spend time together.

“We’re scared of the coronavirus, but only God will protect us.

“Nobody is taking care of us on the streets except God. We’ll pray to be safe.”

Another refugee Dikembe Mbenga (37), also from the DRC, said he’s been through a lot and didn’t fear the virus.

“When you sleep on the streets eating anything that comes your way, you will not fear anything. If I get the coronavirus I will survive it. I’m more scared of Ebola than this virus.”

On Sunday, commissioner Chris Nissen of the South African Human Rights Commission in Western Cape, visited the group.

Nissen said the way the group lived was unsafe and was a fertile ground for diseases.

Refugees say they are on their own but they believe it is only God who will save them from coronavirus. Photo by Misheck Makora Photo by Misheck Makora

“With Covid-19 and other potential diseases, you can’t have people sitting like this with no water and toilets. It’s a real concern for us. The children can’t be living like this, we must find a sustainable solution. I hope the city will come up with an ad hoc solution,” said Nissen.