Foreign nationals claim police don’t give attention to their cases

Fariji Willy Bedide operated at Lenteguer Hospital, Mitchells Plain last year. Photo supplied.
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

An organisation that represents foreign nationals from the Democratic Republic of Congo has raised concerns about their members reporting cases but not receiving enough attention from police.

Some of the cases  were reported at Delft and Mitchell’s Plain police stations.

“We as Buguma organisation representing foreign nationals from Democratic Republic Congo are appealing to the South African government to take matters of rape, attempted murder or murder cases involving foreign nationals seriously,” says Jean Claude Kashwa, a community leader of foreign nationals in Delft.

Kashwa (37) says he is sitting with two cases where justice has not been done.

“In 2010 my wife was raped and the guy is out already. We just received counselling and got surprised to see that the perpetrator  was out,” he says.

Beginning of this year his 12 year old daughter was a victim of an attempted rape.

“This time I felt there was no need reporting to police because there will never be justice,” he says.

Christopher Fulika also a refugee staying in Delft says, “I was stabbed in December last year but up to now no arrest has been made.”

“On this day around 16h00 hours I went out to buy airtime at a spaza shop nearby. Three guys approached me asking for money. I had no money at all except the R10 for the airtime. They stabbed me in the back and the case was reported to police that same day but since then I have not heard anything from police,” he says.

Fulika has stayed in Delft for a year now. Previously he was in Mpumalanga province.

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“On 7 June 2016  some people with guns broke into my house and ordered everyone to lay down while they took away all our goods. We reported to the police same day,” says John Sobanuka, adding that he is disappointed by the behaviour of police whenever he seeks to find out how the case is being handled.

“They shout at me, telling me it’s not necessary to come to the police station everytime. This is almost a year but no one has been brought to book yet. We see the perpetrators daily in the street,” says Sobanuka.

Sobanuka from the DRC came to South Africa in 2004. He is married and has two children.

Fariji Willy Bedide who has been in the country since 2012 was stabbed by six people while on his way back from shops on 11 November 2016.

“The group confronted me asked for money but I had no money so they stabbed me. I do not know who called the ambulance but only discovered that I was now in Lentegeur hospital,” says Bedide.

According to Bedide the same people who they believe broke into Sobanuka’s house are the ones that stabbed him.

Bedide (26) was working as a security guard but is unfit to work at the moment.

“My friends supply me with some money for food and rent since I am not yet fit to work,” he says.

Another refugee organisation, Western Cape Leadership for Refugees, said, “Foreign nationals are a soft target for criminals in the country but authorities make no effort to put an end to this. They report cases to the police but most of the cases are not finalised. In some cases if perpetrators are apprehended they are let out from police cells in less than two days.”

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According to the police both the Fulika and Sobanuka cases have closed as undetected and Bedide’s case is still being investigated.

Meanwhile the Congolese community is calling for the government to step up efforts to protect all foreign nationals.


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About Bernard Chiguvare 56 Articles
Originally from Zimbabwe and since 2014 I been contributing to different publications in South Africa. My area of focus as a reporter is on the rights of vulnerable communities and foreign nationals in any country.