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Protesting foreigners vow to continue fight to leave SA

On Wednesday, a group of foreign nationals - among them refugees - was forcibly removed from outside UN Refugee Agency offices in the Cape Town CBD.

FILE: Police removed foreign nationals who were camping outside the UN Refugee Agency on 30 October 2019. They asked the UN for help to leave South Africa. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Protesting foreigners said their fight to be assisted to leave South Africa would not stop.

On Wednesday, a group of foreign nationals - among them refugees - was forcibly removed from outside UN Refugee Agency offices in the Cape Town CBD.

They had been camped out there for three weeks.

Hundreds of foreign nationals are now occupying a church after being evicted from the Waldorf Arcade that is now closed.

Sitting in one of the benches in the church, one Burundian woman said she had a baby with her when police officers approached her.

“Some of us didn’t even have clothes with us, we decided to wrap ourselves naked just to fight for our kids. Some of our kids were even at the police station.”

Refugee activist JP Balous from the DRC said people did not want to return to the townships and wanted to leave the country because of xenophobia.

“If it means we sleep on the street because the church is tired to accommodate us, so be it, we’re going to sleep outside.”

The UN Refugee Agency has called on the protesting foreigners to return to their homes in South Africa.