Social media on Cape Town protests & 'police brutality': 'This is horrifying'

31 October 2019 - 06:40 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Members of the SAPS clashed with foreigners outside the UNHCR offices in Cape Town on Wednesday.
Members of the SAPS clashed with foreigners outside the UNHCR offices in Cape Town on Wednesday.
Image: Elvis Ntombela

Social media users have accused police of brutality after Wednesday's clashes between the SAPS and foreigners in Cape Town.

Refugees and asylum seekers staged a sit-in outside the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHRC) offices in Waldorf Arcade, St George's Mall.

The foreigners, fearing xenophobic attacks, are demanding relocation to another country.

SA police used water cannons and made a number of arrests during an operation to disperse protesting refugees on October 30 2019. About 100 refugees and asylum seekers were arrested after staging a prolonged sit-in outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) offices in Waldorf Arcade, Cape Town, police said.The foreigners have been camping outside the offices for weeks, asking to be relocated from SA, where they say they do not feel safe.The refugees want to be repatriated to their home countries or moved elsewhere, after a spate of xenophobic riots and attacks in September, which left at least 10 people dead.

On Wednesday, police arrested about 100 protesters, after obtaining a court order to evict them, TimesLIVE reported.

Patient Kazadi, 27, from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said he had not been notified of the eviction until Wednesday. He accused the police of being violent and xenophobic.

“Today they sent police and law enforcement to get us out of here ... There’s one woman lying down here, they didn’t even call an ambulance. There’s another guy inside, bleeding. And they say, we’re not xenophobic. They are. They are xenophobic.”

Scenes from the protest are being widely shared on social media, with scores calling for violence-free policing in handling the situation. 

Here's a glimpse into the reactions:


X