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Methodist Church in Johannesburg to close doors to refugees

23 December 2014 - 09:45 By Sapa
One-year-old Mike clings to his mother, Leya Babushi, in the small room they share with other foreign nationals at the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg. Few of them are expecting any presents for Christmas. File photo
One-year-old Mike clings to his mother, Leya Babushi, in the small room they share with other foreign nationals at the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg. Few of them are expecting any presents for Christmas. File photo
Image: LAUREN MULLIGAN

The Methodist Church in central Johannesburg will be closing its doors to refugees by the end of December.

The church has been a home for refugees since the xenophobia attacks that occurred in the country a few years ago.

Bishop Paul Verryn told The New Age they were trying to find alternative accommodation for the 500 people living there.

"We are energetically looking for alternative accommodation. The leadership of the circuit says the church building should be used solely for the purposes of worship," he said.

The people, however, disagreed with the move. They said they would fight the process as they had nowhere to go and were unemployed.

Blessing Mutezo said he would fight the process tooth and nail.

"Do they think they will succeed in kicking us out? I don't think so. We will be waiting for them. Yes they told us that they don't want us here anymore. What about all of these mothers and their children?"

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