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The Yusufeyyah Masjied has been embroiled in discussions with both PRASA and the City of Cape Town over illegal settlements around the Mosque

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By Kouthar Sambo

The Yusufeyyah Masjied has been embroiled in discussions with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and the City of Cape Town (COCT) over illegal settlements around the Mosque that have attracted criminal elements.

It is believed that PRASA has allegedly intervened on the ground following commentary and disturbing scenes making the rounds on social media.

Speaking on VOC’s Drive Time show on Tuesday, Secretary of the Yusufeyyah Masjid and Wynberg East Civic Association Chairperson Yunis Karrim provided some perspective on how the situation escalated.

“When the Covid pandemic struck, the City of Cape Town rounded up most of the homeless of the Metropol and created a camp in Strandfontein when it was level five Covid. When Covid was reduced, the camp was then banned, and the homeless were dispersed into various areas, and unfortunately, Wynberg was one of those areas.

According to eyewitnesses, cited by Karrim, three buses came into Wynberg and “dumped” the homeless in Wynberg to find their own way.

“These homeless people then found their way next to the Mosque where PRASA land was open and that area became their place to live since mid-2020 up until now. The situation has not only affected the Mosque but also the commuters and surrounding neighbours,” explained Karrim.

According to Karrim, the demographics of people situated next to the Msoque have changed from homeless to criminals.

“By the council’s own admission, most of them were conducting criminal activities on a regular basis,” clarified Karrim.

Karrim added that the necessary parties are working on a strategy to clear the area and make it more conducive for Musalees, neighbours, and commuters.

Meanwhile, PRASA said in a statement that it has been engaging regularly with affected stakeholders to address the issue of unlawful occupation of PRASA-owned land adjacent to the Wynberg Train Station.

“This area, referred to as The Hill, has been a focal point of our collaborative efforts. Our engagements aim to address the escalating security incidents occurring in and around the occupied land
to ensure the safety and well-being of all community members,” expressed PRASA.

“Some of the dwellers expressed a desire to relocate, and we were able to facilitate their move to safe shelters with assistance from the City, providing them with a more secure environment while others voluntarily vacated the site during a cleanup operation conducted by PRASA,” reiterated PRASA.

Photo: VOCfm

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