Article by: Katharine Child

23 May 2016

Sex workers are being harassed by metro police and even threatened with police dogs – at a time when the government has called for them to be treated “with dignity”.

Last week, metro police arrived at a field in Pretoria West known as “The Bush” and told sex workers they were there to get rid of them.

One sex worker told The Times: “We were scared to run away because they had about 10 dogs.”

Sex workers said about 100 metro cops arrived in two buses and told them that they “were a disgrace to schoolchildren” and they were there to “clean up” the area.

The sex worker said the police ignored them when they asked how they expected them to earn money to feed their children if they chased them from “The Bush”.

This harassment has been going on since November, according to activists from Sex Workers’ Education and Advocacy Taskforce and the Sisonke Sex Worker Movement. This is despite Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa saying in March that sex workers were “entitled to dignity”.

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