‘Khayelitsha foreigners traumatised by cops’

Anthropologist Vicki Igglesden says police leave foreign nationals feeling traumatised.

FILE: Commissioner Kate O'Regan and the police's lawyer Norman Arendse chatting at the Khayelitsha Police Station on 21 January 2014. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry has heard many foreign nationals living in townships are left traumatised after dealing with police.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille established the commission to investigate allegations of a breakdown in relations between the Khayelitsha community and police.

Anthropologist Vicki Igglesden, who has researched the relationship between foreign nationals and the police, has testified the basic rights of Khayelitsha's foreign nationals are being trampled on by many police officers.

She says one of the major issues is the victimisation of Somali shop owners.

Igglesden has received reports that police search Somali shops without warrants on a regular basis.

She adds there have also been numerous reports of abusive language and malicious damage to their properties during the searches.