“Some children are getting abused at school and bullied by the other SA boys and girls,” said 12-year-old Congolese refugee Dje Dje Kapingo. “Teasing you, swearing at you, teasing your country. That makes other kids hurt … We had to leave our country and come here for safety. Where we are right now, it’s the same thing that happened in our country. So that’s what makes us a little sad, that we are in a bad place.”
As she began tearing up, women around her wept. “We’re just looking for a safe place,” said Kapingo.
Social workers have visited the arcade to check on the children, but no further action has been taken.
The UNHCR released a third statement on October 16, saying “Grandi commended SA’s commitment to protecting people fleeing countries affected by conflict, violence and persecution” and “noted that resettlement to third countries is a very limited option for refugees worldwide, as the number of resettlement places available globally is unfortunately dropping. For most refugees here in SA resettlement is not an option.”
This alarmed protesters who seek to leave the country. “It’s better to live in a prison than to live in SA,” said DRC refugee Kande-Serge Kande. “You know, in the prison the police will take care of you. It’s not human for someone sitting in an office to say there is no solution.”