News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
2 minute read
11 Jun 2018
2:07 pm

VIDEO: Furious John Moodey in ‘fight’ with security at refugee centre

Virginia Keppler

The DA's Gauteng leader is unimpressed with how refugees are 'herded like cattle'.

John Moodey the Provincial Leader for the DA in Gauteng, 11 June 2018, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng leader John Moodey found himself in an altercation with security guards at the Desmond Tutu Refugee Centre in Marabastad, in Pretoria, after they allegedly spoke down to him, then pushed and barred him and Gauteng North regional chairperson Abel Tau from entering the premises.

Members of the media, who were there at the invitation of the DA, were also refused entry.

An argument broke out between Moodey and security personnel, after which Moodey and Tau forced their way in.

“I’m going in and let them stop me,” said Moodey.

Foreign Nationals predominantly from India are seen speaking to media through a fence at the Desmond Tutu Refugee Center in Pretoria during a site Visit by John Moodey, the Provincial Leader for the DA in Gauteng. The foreign nationals claimed they had to pay bribes just to gain entry into the center where they also allege foreigners are beaten and treated inhumanely, 11 June 2018, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The duo was there to conduct an oversight inspection after receiving numerous complaints of bribery, corruption, intimidation and assault.

“When you touch me and push me you are actually assaulting me,” Moodey said.

He said he also witnessed first-hand how some people were taking money from members of the public and then disappeared into the facility.

“But when we got to the gate, we were denied access by a security officer.

“That is arrogance. What is there to hide?” Moodey said.

John Moodey (R), the Provincial Leader for the DA in Gauteng alongside Abel Tau (L), Ward 92 councillor, are seen arguing with security outside the Desmond TutuRefugee Center in Pretoria where they and the media were being refused access in order to conduct a site visit, 11 June 2018, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

It was only after he was inside that he really started to “fume” when he noticed how people were being treated.

“I was fuming, as you can imagine, because I was looking at how people were herded in like cattle and being spoken to as if they were criminals in some prison facility. These people have got rights.

“There is no friendliness; it is as if people are being intimidated to keep quiet,” Moodey told journalists after he came back out.

He was taken to the facility’s centre manager and said his experience was different there.

“She was professional and listened to the complaints. What becomes very clear is she is new; she comes from outside the facility and has been here since February and her task is not an easy one,” Moodey said.

Watch footage of an angry Moodey addressing the media: