We have received alleged reports of children missing and women handled inappropriately during Operation Fiela that was conducted on Thursday night at Mokgoba village. The raids were allegedly conducted at three o’clock at night in a military fashion, with the police kicking and destroying the doors of the shacks. The local justice and peace group for the diocese of Tzaneen is investigating the reports to establish what actually happened. We shall then take appropriate advocacy action. We expect the police to conduct operation fiela within the parameters of the human rights law. The protection of children should always be considered a priority. The capacity of the police stations to speedily process the detainees should be put in place before any operation fiela so that those who are real refugees should be identified and protected. Lawyers should also be allowed to access to the detainees.
SACBC Justice and Peace Commission. 3 June 2015.