Security guards, officials attack Zims

SECURITY guards and Home Affairs officials at Marabastad Refugee reception centre in Pretoria on Friday and Saturday attacked and assaulted more than 600 Zimbabwean asylum seekers jam-packed at the centre to apply for refugee status.
An unknown number of asylum seekers were left wounded and one was taken to hospital for treatment. 

“We are no longer secure here. Since Friday the security guards and some officials have been attacking us. Only the queue of us Zimbabweans… I don’t know why. A large number have sustained injuries and Norwell Sithole was rushed to a hospital after he sustained serious wounds during the attack,” said eye witness Maxwell Manhando.

A home affairs official told The Zimbabwea  the attack was intended to ‘get rid of Zimbabweans who were causing disturbance at the centre’.

“Over 200 Zimbabweans are coming here every day. This situation has caused even a tension among them. They are fighting and causing havoc here,” said the official. “This has forced us to descend heavily on them.”

Last week police in Cape Town crushed a peaceful demonstration by about 100 Zimbabweans protesting against the department’s failure to issue them with permits.

Demonstrators said some Zimbabweans who applied some 10 years ago have not yet received any response from the department. – Allen Muzhingi


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