refugees police pretoria unhcr

Photo: @SAPoliceService / TW

Refugees in PTA: Police forcibly remove foreigners from UNHCR premises

Police swooped in with buses and canters to forcibly remove the defiant refugees from the UNHCR premises.

refugees police pretoria unhcr

Photo: @SAPoliceService / TW

After repeated warnings, the police in Pretoria, have moved in to remove hundreds of refugees that have camped on the premises of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), for a little more than a month.

Refugees arrested: Here’s what we know

After being ignored and left to camp outside of the UNHCR premises in tents for about a month, hundreds of refugees, who are seemingly desperate to leave South Africa, stormed into the establishment, on Thursday.

This happened a day after the North Gauteng Hgh Court had ordered the large group of refugees to vacate the area within three days.

It appears that the disgruntled group ignored the court’s order and bombrushed into the UNHCR offices, demanding to documented and processed for removal from South Africa.

A lady that apparently works at the UNHCR offices, in Pretoria, tweeted that more than 900 refugees were in the process of being documented.

Things died down after Thursday’s commotion. However, on Friday, a large team of tactical task team of police swarmed arounf the UNHCR premises, clad in riot protective gear.

According to Pretoria News, hundreds of refugees have been thrown into buses and canters. It is not clear, as you will hear in the videos below, where they are being taken.

Video footage courtesy of Pretoria News

Government urges foreigners to abide by SA laws

Moments after the chaos broke out in Pretoria, the South Africa government’s spokesperson, Phumla Williams, issued a statement, calling on all refugees to abide by the laws and not escalate matters to a point where law enforcement acts the way they have on Friday morning.

“The protesters are prohibited from contravening the by-laws of the City of Tshwane and the laws of South Africa. The government urges the protesters to abide by the decision of the High Court,” the statement read.