A child was ripped away from the arms of a defenceless woman as police forcibly removed hundreds of refugees from outside the offices of the UN High Commission for Refugees in Cape Town’s CBD yesterday.
Foreign nationals and refugees have been conducting a peaceful sit-in protest over safety concerns in SA for the past few weeks outside the offices.
News24 reported yesterday that multiple police officers gathered around the site in St George’s Mall and removed protesters.
Videos of violent removals have been widely shared on social media.
Police have removed hundreds of foreign nationals and refugees from an area outside the offices of the UN High Commission for Refugees in Cape Town — the site of a weeks-long peaceful sit-in protest over their safety in South Africa.
The latest video shows police violently removing a girl from a woman on the ground, while she desperately tries to hold on to the child.
The child desperately grabs on to the woman, while three police officers force her to let go.
The violent exchange goes on for a couple of seconds, before the woman is overpowered and the child taken from her, with her left shaking her head at what she had just been through. The child is then taken away from her.
Western Cape police said in a statement that about 100 people had been arrested after “they failed to heed the call to disperse”.
Police were assisting the enforcement of an October 18 court order to evict about 300 refugees and asylum seekers who were participating in the peaceful sit-in protest. The landlord of the property applied for the order.
Officials from the social development and home affairs departments were also present, News24 reported.
Some of the evicted refugees have bee provided with a safe haven at the nearby Central Methodist Church.
Meanwhile, police continued to remove men, women and children who have been occupying the UN Refugee Agency offices late yesterday.
They are demanding that the UNHCR helps them leave the country, because of xenophobia.
It’s chaos in the CBD yesterday afternoon after police took action, removing foreigners from the area which they’ve been occupying for weeks.
Police fired rubber bullets and sprayed water cannons at protesters when they refused to move. Some were dragged on the floor while others were caught while trying to escape. — Sapa