Bleeding, chaos as police arrest 100 foreign nationals outside UN refugee offices in Cape Town

Hundreds of asylum seekers and refugees face removal outside the UNHRC Cape Town offices following weeks of protests. (Jenni Evans, News24)
Hundreds of asylum seekers and refugees face removal outside the UNHRC Cape Town offices following weeks of protests. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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.

On Wednesday, multiple police vehicles and police officers gathered around the site in St George's Mall in the Cape Town CBD and removed the protesters.

For weeks, the protesters have asked to be evacuated from the country to find safety amid fears of attacks against foreign nationals.

The situation is chaotic and many people are bleeding. Broken possessions are strewn in the road. Some children have been separated from their parents.

About 100 arrested

Western Cape police said in a statement that about 100 people were 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 participated in the peaceful sit-in protest. The landlord of the property applied for the order.

"The SAPS (SA Police Service) in the Western Cape is aware of earlier efforts to engage the group facilitated by roleplayers such as the UNHCR to resolve the impasse in an amicable manner. Unfortunately, the attempts yielded no positive result," a police statement read.

"With a court order in place, the SAPS is obligated to support its execution by the sheriff. Law enforcement officials from the City of Cape Town and the police's Public Order Police are henceforth on site."

Officials from the departments of social development and home affairs are also present.

This is a developing story.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Is social media doing more harm than good?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, our children are exposed and we can't protect them
49% - 4105 votes
Yes, but social media is part of the new reality
46% - 3795 votes
No, it's great for growing a child's world view
5% - 406 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.06
-1.0%
GBP/ZAR
19.69
-0.3%
EUR/ZAR
17.11
-0.2%
AUD/ZAR
11.04
-0.2%
JPY/ZAR
0.13
-0.6%
Gold
1,831.41
+0.9%
Silver
27.44
+0.5%
Palladium
2,931.50
-0.6%
Platinum
1,256.50
+0.1%
Brent Crude
68.09
-1.3%
Top 40
62,573
+1.4%
All Share
68,520
+1.4%
Resource 10
71,474
+2.1%
Industrial 25
86,856
+0.9%
Financial 15
12,711
+1.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo