'SA Home Affairs treats us like we're animals'

Asylum seekers say they've been ill-treated by the Home Affairs and this needs to be addressed.

FILE: Cape Town police monitor the situation as asylum seekers protest outside Home Affairs building on 27 November 2014. Picture: Anja Knoblauch @Anja_Knoblauch

CAPE TOWN - Protesting asylum seekers have expressed disappointment at the poor treatment they receive at Home Affairs.

On Thursday, police had to fire rubber bullets and teargas to disperse hundreds of angry foreign nationals who had been queuing at the Home Affairs offices on the Foreshore.

The area around the office was cordoned off for about an hour and half.

Asylum seekers told Eyewitness News they had come to the Home Affairs office to complete paperwork.

But they were then told to go back to the places where they had originally applied for asylum, some as far away as Musina and Pretoria.

Refugees became enraged when officials told them this.

Home Affairs denied the office was ever open to accept applications on Thursday.

An asylum seeker from the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) says he hopes the matter will be resolved soon.

"Home Affairs don't treat people like human beings. As foreigners here in South Africa they treat us like animals and this problem must be resolved."