[LISTEN] Siblings to take legal action after being wrongfully arrested

Siblings Emmarangia and Zula Adaama will be taking legal action against Johannesburg police after being wrongfully arrested during inner-city raids last week.

The sisters say they were in a restaurant when police ordered patrons to line up and produce documents.

The pair spent five days in police custody on suspicion of being illegal migrants.

The two joined Joanne Joseph in studio to recount how they were ill treated and put in a over-crowded cell.

The vicinity we were in is predominately Ethiopian. They said line up, show us your papers. Most of us didn't have papers because you know we live in the CBD, you can get robbed at anytime. It was so fast, when we went out, we were close to a hundred - mixed Ethiopian, Zimbabwean and Malawian.

Zula Adaama

They were abrupt. An officer had asked me if I had my paper, I didn't have my papers and he was like 'oh well you are going home'

Emmarangia Adaama

When we got to the police station we had to form a line. I said I am from South Africa and then they started laughing. The other officer asked me again, where are you from and she laughed again...

Zula Adaama

Emmarangia says she was taken in for a fingerprint verification when one of the police officers said the sisters look Ethiopian.

They set up the system, then took my fingerprint, the verification came up, passed, had my photo with my full three names on it. One officer was like 'hell no, this can never be you'... checked again and everything was fine.

Emmarangia Adaama

I was supposed to be out by Wednesday but there was a home affairs officer - he was like oh no, she can definitely not be from South Africa.

Emmarangia Adaama

Zula did not have a fingerprint on the system.

She describes how they were badly treated while being held in an over crowded cell.

It is like a concentration camp. Ladies, we were about 40 in a cell. You have a 5 litre bucket to wash in, one soup for all the ladies.

Zula Adaama

Your first meal is maybe at five in the morning.... I fasted for all those days.

Zula Adaama

They were hell-bent on treating people like animals.

Emmarangia Adaama

Click on the link below to hear the full story...


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