Amnesty International's World Cup claims misguided - Police

SAPS call on Dr Mary Rayner to please check her facts before mouthing off again

Human rights unfairly critical of South African Police Service (SAPS), June 8 2010

The South African Police Service is appalled by the misguided remarks of the representative of Amnesty International South Africa who gratuitously accused the police of using the FIFA 2010 rules and regulations to harass homeless people, immigrants and street hawkers ahead of the tournament.

Amnesty International's Dr Mary Rayner should know better that the bi-laws that govern activities of street hawkers, car guards and homeless people are a domain relevant Metropolitan Council. The SAPS is only enforcing these laws when approached to assist the Metro Police. The street hawkers and the car guards must be registered with the Metropolitan Council in order to operate legally.

The SAPS, when executing crime prevention operations, do so jointly with the immigration officials from the Department of Home Affairs. The illegal immigrants are required to be in possession of a legal permit for their stay in the country, and the Department of Home Affairs determines their deportation or the extension of their permit.

The illegal immigrants are temporarily kept in the police holding cells while Home Affairs processes their documentation. Homeless people are placed in shelters, depending on the availability thereof, where they can be safe and fed.

The SAPS is making a humble appeal to Amnesty International South Africa that, in future, when in doubt, please check to verify the facts before rushing to the media to make unsubstantiated and damaging claims about the SAPS, which strives hard to respect and to uphold the human rights and dignity of all the people.

Statement issued by the Ministry of Police, June 8 2010

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