Sun Oct 23 08:20:46 SAST 2016

Somali refugees vow not to move

By unknown | Jun 17, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sipho Masombuka

Sipho Masombuka

Somali leaders said yesterday they still could not find the bodies of three of their own who were allegedly shot dead during a stand-off with police at one of the two refugee camps in Pretoria North on Saturday.

The Somalis claim police wrapped the bodies in blankets before taking them away in a vehicle.

According to the refugees, the confrontation started when police raided their makeshift mosque while they were praying and accused them of selling drugs.

"Our moulana (priest) pleaded with them to wait until we had finished praying, but they just barged in with their shoes on. They disrespected our place of worship and swore at the moulana. They turned the mosque upside down but could not find anything," one refugee said.

The refugees said they did not want to be reintegrated into the communities that drove them out because they were scared.

They said they would resist reintegration and said they were ready to die in the camp rather than be taken back.

Tshwane Metro police spokesman William Baloyi said he was present during the stand-off and insisted no one was killed. He said the confrontation started after Somali refugees kidnapped a female private security guard.

"They threatened to slit her throat, and that was when we used force to rescue the woman. We had to fire rubber bullets because the refugees retaliated by stoning passing vehicles on the Rosslyn road."


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