Home South Africa News SAHRC condemns arrest of 15-year-old in Hillbrow over documentation

SAHRC condemns arrest of 15-year-old in Hillbrow over documentation


South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has condemned the arrest of a 15-year-old in Hillbrow in central Johannesburg on suspicion that she is a foreign national. The teenager was detained for allegedly failing to present her South African documentation to the police.

She spent almost two hours locked up in police holding cells at the Hillbrow Police Station and was released after her father arrived with her birth certificate to prove she was South African.

“On this issue particularly, I think the idea before was that the people who were detained were adults or during a raid of some sort into a building. But now you are finding a situation where a minor, a person walking down the street to the extent of detention. And you ask the right question, does it mean minors have carried birth certificates? And there have been other calls from other civil society organisations that say at least if you make it a card or something one is able to move about more easily. But now when we are talking about the minor, I think that’s what makes these circumstances very different,” says SAHRC’s Gauteng Provincial Manager, Zamantungwa Mbeki.

Meanwhile, the teenager explained how one of the officers touched her inappropriately during the ordeal.

“A group of women surrounded me and stopped me. And one of them was searching me at that time, they were talking while searching. Then she touches my private areas, that’s when I stopped her from searching me. She then continues to search me and she told me you don’t have the right to ask any questions, you don’t have the right to say anything because we are asking you questions, and you don’t have to ask any questions.

She then continued to search me and she grabbed my private area, saying I can touch you wherever I want to. She then grabbed me and said I had an attitude that’s why she is going to put me in jail.

Source: SABC

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