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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: CFCR by Rebecca Sibanda.]

From 8 October 2019, foreign nationals who have been living in South Africa as refugees and asylum-seekers camped outside the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) offices in both Cape Town and Pretoria. They were (and are still) seeking to be resettled in other countries, following the most recent spate of violent xenophobic attacks in the country. The September attacks sparked international outrage and saw 12 people dead (most of whom were South African), hundreds arrested and property damage worth thousands of Rands in the streets of Johannesburg.

On 30 October 2019, three weeks after the peaceful sit-in began in Cape Town, the South African Police Service (SAPS) arrived at the Waldorf Arcade in downtown Cape Town – which houses the UNHCR offices – and gave the refugees time to pack up their belongings and clear out. This followed the granting of a court order sought by the building’s owners to remove the refugees. After issuing repeated warnings to evacuate the building and non-cooperation on the part of the refugees, the SAPS began to forcibly remove the people. They made use of stun grenades and water cannons, and fired into a crowd comprised of both adults and small children. The police also arrested approximately 100 people at the scene. Footage of the chaos which ensued shocked many, particularly images and video showing young children being pulled from the arms of their mothers by police officials attempting to execute arrests. The events resulted in up to seven children being reported missing, with no information as to where police officials took them.

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South Africa at a Glance
58 780 000 (mid 2019 estimate)
3.6% y/y in November 2019 (CPI) & +2.3 y/y in November 2019 (PPI)
-0.6% q/q (3rd quarter of 2019)
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