Members of the Public Order Police have just taken action against people embarking in a sit-in protest at the Waldorf building in Cape Town. About one hundred people have been arrested after they failed to heed the call to disperse. The police are in the area to support the sheriff in executing a court order to evict about 300 refugees and asylum seekers who have been occupying the building in a sit-in protest for quite some time. The court order was granted on 18 October at the Cape Town Magistrates Court after the landlord made an application to evict the group.
The SAPS in the Western Cape is aware of earlier efforts to engage the group facilitated by role players such as the UNHCR to resolve the impasse in an amicable manner. Unfortunately the attempts yielded no positive result. With a court order in place, the SAPS is obligated to support its execution by the sheriff. Law enforcement officials from the City of Cape Town and the police's Public Order Police are henceforth on site. As part of the execution of the court order, taking into account the size of the group, officials from the departments of Social Development and Home Affairs are also present to offer technical support to the situation.