28 Mar 2010

South Africa’s sinister clean-up squad that catch children

In the build-up to the biggest football show on earth, helpless youngsters are being rounded up each day by South African police and dumped miles outside Durban in a bid to keep the city looking pristine. To an extent it is a pointless exercise, as the children simply embark on the 24-hour trek back to Durban as soon as they are dumped.


To the outside world, they appear in desperate need of rehabilitation. But to Durban Municipal Police they are unsightly vermin in need of urgent removal.

The Sun witnessed the police's heavy-handed tactics first-hand, less than a day after arriving in Durban last week. Sun photographer Marc Giddings was detained and interrogated by police for more than two hours after taking pictures of children locked in the back of a van without food or water.

Inside the city's Metropolitan police station, he was shocked to discover a poster on display entitled Operation Beach Clean-Up. It blatantly revealed police tactics in the build-up to the World Cup. Street children were listed alongside vagrants and debris on a register of rubbish to be removed from the city centre.

The Sun