Refugees protest in Pretoria

2012-06-13 12:43

Johannesburg - About 1 000 refugees protested at the Tshwane interim refugee reception office in Pretoria on Wednesday morning, Gauteng police said.

Captain Louise Reed said the refugees were unhappy with the way they were being treated at the offices and began to get "rowdy".

"They burnt a few tyres, but that was it. Some of them are still hanging around and seem to be negotiating with the head people [at the office]," she said.

"A helicopter flew overhead [and] did a rough estimate of the protesters. We can say that there were about 1 000 people there, but it's all over now and to my knowledge no one was injured."

Legal organisation Lawyers for Human Rights said the protest started just after 06:00 when officials at the office allegedly refused to serve the refugees.

"The protest appears to be motivated by the poor access to the facility and the inability of asylum seekers and refugees to be able to get the services which are supposed to be provided by that office," it said.

"They will need to return next week if their permits are not renewed today, which will place many of them in a serious situation, where they will be vulnerable to arrest and detention if their permits lapse."

Witnesses at the scene said that there were nearly 3 000 people protesting.

  • jerry.medina.756 - 2012-06-13 12:47

    Where they come from they will be shot just for mentioning the word 'protest'. I love South Africa

      bulumko.lusu - 2012-06-13 13:00

      So true. Love this comment.

      mukosit - 2012-06-13 13:04

      These indicate that "South Africa belong to all those who live in it".

      clifford.sithole.5 - 2012-06-13 13:25

      National protest day I see....If the anc ever runs out of tyres...I have about a hundred old tyres in the back of my workshop..R20 each

      Johan De Beer - 2012-06-13 14:42

      Very, very, very well said OOM

      Oom - 2012-06-14 10:54

      Dear News 24..Please stop taking my comments off, I have read the terms and conditions... I will never understand the logic of the new South Africa. My family have been here for hundreds of years. I am the 5th generation South African. I pay tax, I am a law abiding citizen, I donate to charity and I love my country. What more could the state want from any citizen.?? I , by law, am not permitted to be employed on the grounds of my colour. BEE and affirmative action dictates my opportunities in the land of my birth. I would never ever even think of being disrespectful to any member of our government nor state employee, especially a police officer or any law enforcement type person...YET...I read stuff like this , that makes my blood boil , these foreigners, who should be grateful for the opportunity to be here as guests of the state, have the audacity to demand stuff from my country...WHY..???? Why should we, the citizens of this country, tolerate this form of behaviour. Is this not xenophobia in reverse..?? Why should they be allowed to burn tyres in my country..?? LOCK THEM ALL UP, SEND THEM BACK TO WHEREVER THEY CAME FROM.. I am a South African they are not...!!!

  • Ryno - 2012-06-13 12:49

    "Captain Louise Reed said the refugees were unhappy with the way they were being treated at the offices and began to get "rowdy". THEN GO BACK TO YOUR OWN LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN IN AFRICA

      J.D. - 2012-06-13 13:48

      @ Sizwe... you see, it would've been easy for us all to sit in Europe and look down on how all you dumb uneducated amoeba's take down and destroy this wonderful country of ours, but unfortunately in the modern world you need education to emigrate, which you people are trying to keep away from us with your sick BEE bullSh*T.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-06-13 14:07

      Exactly. Do you not realise that the only original inhabitants of this country, that have the right to claim, are the Khoi-San, which BOTH boer and bantu's killed to obtain land. It's fact. Check the history books. It's sad that the masses think otherwise thanks to the ANC (said by Julius on Carte Blanche). Do you realise that the majority of land owned is by government, and they don't do anything with it? And yet it's the whites that own all the land. Please man, Tokyo Sexwale owns three huge farms in the Western Cape. Will his land be taken too? This is OUR country. Stop trying to blame all the negativity on the whites. Take responsibility and do something constructive to improve your own life.

      Emile - 2012-06-14 00:57

      thank you wesley

  • Bzeng - 2012-06-13 12:50

    'refugees protest for fair treatment' ok interesting, every1 must get the same treatment whthr u ar refugee or nt

  • max.reynecke - 2012-06-13 12:53

    They are just parasites...get rid of them.

      Sizwe - 2012-06-13 13:37

      If you miss it go live in Israel. It is alive and well there.

      Consolata - 2012-06-13 13:46

      @max is your problem the fact that they are protesting or that they burnt tyres while protesting?\r\nI personally dont have a problem with them protesting, but I think that burning tyres was unnecessary.

      emile.marais - 2012-06-13 14:00

      I wouldn't call them parasites Max. Sure most of them are in South Africa for legitimate reasons after all, plus they have a right to protest - peacefully.

      Rob - 2012-06-13 14:30

      @ emile....You cant be serious. What do these parasites bring to this country in the way of skills ? We have enough of our own to take care of & it is just madness to believe these people will contribute in any way.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-06-13 14:34

      That's a bit harsh. You wouldn't like being called that if you had to seek refuge somewhere, would you? They just mustn't come to our country, not contribute to the GDP and then destroy what our tax money has paid for. Just because they act like hooligans doesn't mean the race card must be played.

      emile.marais - 2012-06-13 14:44

      I don't think anyone will voluntarily choose to be a refugee in the first place Rob. According to the article it appears they where protesting because of the ''poor access to the facility and the inability of asylum seekers and refugees to be able to get the services which are supposed to be provided by that office'' Blame the inept system and corrupt governments that caused them to flee their countries in the first place.

      Rob - 2012-06-13 14:49

      Well Emile, it appears that we are unable to provide for our overbreeding masses & we must still take on the burden of this lot. Madness !!!!

  • glencoe.maseko - 2012-06-13 12:53

    Put them Refugees in a Truck n take them Home so they Protect there....

      Emile - 2012-06-13 13:57

      you sicken me

  • jackal666.daniel - 2012-06-13 12:54

    why would they ever want to come here???

      Ryno - 2012-06-13 13:03

      for free gov grants and anc votes!!!!

  • rory.hewitt2 - 2012-06-13 12:58

    Lmao, didn't take them too long to learn about burning tires!

      Emile - 2012-06-13 13:58

      what have we done?

  • altusvanzyl - 2012-06-13 12:58

    Burning tyres in our country? Sies get rid of them

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-06-13 13:06

    So now even non-South Africans can protest and destroy things, in a country that isn't even theirs? Yet the DA's peaceful march was condemned? Pathetic hypocrites

  • philschalkwyk - 2012-06-13 13:21

    WTF!! Send them back to their own country!!!

      Sizwe - 2012-06-13 13:39

      Yes please! Go back to the Netherlands from where you came.

      Steve - 2012-06-13 14:00

      Hey Phil, it appears that ToileTrolls like Sizwe are so single-minded that they would rather have their buddies from all over Africa come here and take their jobs and take their money. Then they cry foul and the killing of these refugees start. Life is cheap in Africa. And please Sizwe, blame it all on the white man and apartheid. It's what you trolls do the best.

      Steve - 2012-06-13 14:02

      Oh, by the way Sizwe, it appears that the vast majority of South Africans of all races, do not want them here.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-06-13 14:08

      You are so ignorant, it's pathetic

      Johan De Beer - 2012-06-13 14:34

      Whi is this Sizwe idiot? What a racist!

  • jimmy.gounaris - 2012-06-13 13:23

    They contribute to the high crime rate, explosion of squatter camps and unenployment. Go back home.

      Emile - 2012-06-13 13:59

      illegal immigrants do that. refugees and illegal immigrants are not the same. does nobody understand this?

      Nosiphom - 2012-06-13 14:19

      Illegal immigrants and refugees are the same thing. You enter the country illegally (illegal immigrant), then you apply for refugee status! Alternatively you enter the country legally, overstay your visa and burn your passport, then apply for refugee status.

      emile.marais - 2012-06-13 14:19

      Emile, apparently not!

      Emile - 2012-06-14 00:39

      being a refugee means immigrating to a country because your life is threatened in your own country. you have to apply for asylum. its legal. if you are a refugee you work on permit. this also means that your income is taxed. you contribute to the society that is granting you refuge. an illegal immigrant does none of this. hence the "illegal" part... i get that you hate illegal immigrants, but dont treat the rest of africa as a plague as soon as they set foot in the south

  • J.D. - 2012-06-13 13:29

    Typical, cos they know there won't be any action taken against them. New National Anthem: Let's kill, let's destroy for I'm yet another rural boy Let's rape , let's steal cos we will get a chance to appeal. So sick of this failing country

  • nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-13 13:32

    Why didn't they protest and burn tyres in their country?

      Sizwe - 2012-06-13 13:38

      One could say the same thing about people like you.

      Loo - 2012-06-13 13:49

      Sizwe .. I have one word to further your education ... NANDOS !!! boet

      mukosit - 2012-06-13 13:50

      Sizwe or whatever you call yourself. Please behave like an adult.

  • busisiwe.kubeka1 - 2012-06-13 13:34

    If you are in Rome do what the Romans are doing

  • gandanga.tororo - 2012-06-13 13:51

    Its winter time; hahahaaaa?!

  • Kyle - 2012-06-13 13:53

    Why are most of these comments so xenophobic? We don't accept our fellow South Africans and we make sure that we hate foreigners who seek refuge in our country. WOW! I'm stunned by the hatred and intolerance this country's people project everyday. Hatred breeds further hatred!

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-06-13 14:10

      Who the hell disliked his comment? It's true! Or do you prefer hating people?

      emile.marais - 2012-06-13 14:12

      Fully agree with you.

      emile.marais - 2012-06-13 14:20

      Some South Africans can only hate. It's all they know...

      eduardo.joao.338 - 2012-06-13 14:52

      It is sad wen ever imigration matter is raised in SA, I have lived and studied in SA close to 10 years, i have been discriminated, robbed but iam still thankful for a least some South Africans accepted me as human being and with respect. I would like to see South Africans accept the fact that if you are today free of Aparthaid, other African countries they did accomodate you in their countries on your stuggle time, Such as my home country ANGOLA. In Angola we have foreigners of all human race and culture diversity, and since back in our struggling war period never we treated any of them like animals. I love SA, and I have so many friends some even like family to me which are South Africans of all race, other africans imigrants and others from around the world. Let no political frustration to divide you as nation and take the anger to all foreigners, in special africans.

      Emile - 2012-06-14 01:06

      thank you for your thoughts ed, its nice getting an outsider view of of sa. im actually glad to hear you say you dont hate us

  • kgaogelodp - 2012-06-13 14:10

    And this caused alot of traffic congestion which resulted in late-coming at workplaces! Mxm

  • Thapelo - 2012-06-13 14:17

    Oom, I do not understand you when you speak of BEE and AA. Did you complain for us when there was job reservation act that was giving jobs to whites only. This is not apartheid in reverse but rather correcting thewrongs of the past.

      Johan De Beer - 2012-06-13 14:25

      Oh please. You just propagate a policy that gives you handouts. Of course it is apartheid in reverse! "redressing the wrongs of the past" is just propaganda for "repeating to them what they did to us". All your "fight for fairness" came to nothing. It was rather "fight for favour". You black people are repeating apartheid, and even worse.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-06-13 14:38

      Yes, because living in the past will definitely ensure a successful future. If Germany had to live in the past the way we do, because of the holocaust, they would never be where they are today. The moved on from the past and focussed on the future... and guess what... Today they are one of the richest countries with one of the most robust economies (bailing out other failing economies).

      pgmdesouza - 2012-06-13 15:58

      Les vainqueurs prennent immédiatement les vices des vaincus. This loosely translates to, the conquerers immediately take up the vices of the conquered. It's undeniable that some policies are the reverse of pre-independence tendencies. Revenge maybe?

  • TdJ01 - 2012-06-13 15:41

    Israel have seen the light! Deport them all and let them complain and march in their own country.

  • shaylene.stenger - 2012-06-13 21:34

    Hmmmm what to do today? I know let's p*ss off the locals.... Seriously don't come bugger up our country because u buggered up yours!!!!

  • Emile - 2012-06-14 01:59

    my previous post was flagged so im going to repeat myself. a refugee is NOT an illegal immigrant. a refugee uses legal channels to apply for asylum in a foreign country, strictly on the grounds that they can no longer safely live in their own. if granted asylum they become temporary citizens, affording them most of the rights a full citizen has, bar VERY few exceptions (voting being most notable). they must also adhere to all the same laws a full citizen does. they are granted work permits, and earn their living in our country fairly. they are taxed, and thus are owed the same basic services we all receive from our govt. they put no strain on the economy, nor do they take anyone's job. i get that illegal immigration is a sore topic for the majority of sa citizens, but don confuse those people with refugees. on the matter of the protest - the refugees had every right to protest the unjust actions of the refugee reception office. govt bodies cannot deny basic services to any citizen, be they temporary or permanent. i would also like to point out that the protest concluded peacefully. a 1000 strong protest that ended in no casualties or even injuries, and no loss or destruction of any property. maybe some people should be taking notes...

      Oom - 2012-06-14 10:24

      Ya..they took me off too....

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