Help pouring in for Zim refugees in SA: Bishop

SOUTH AFRICA – Offers to help Zimbabwean refugees evicted from the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg are coming from all over the country, Bishop Paul Verryn said on Friday.

Bishop Paul Verryn
Bishop Paul Verryn

“People offering help were calling in from Bloemfontein, Welkom, Potchefstroom, among many places. The offer for help is incredible,” Verryn said.

“Accommodation has been identified for some at a community centre in Soweto.”

Verryn said he would inspect another building not far from the church, in the Johannesburg CBD, which had been offered to accommodate the refugees. Some had found their own accommodation since they were ordered to leave.

The eviction of the more than 400 refugees coincided with Verryn’s term as superintendent at the church coming to an end last month. The removal followed a series of attempts to evict them. They reportedly ran up a R2million electricity bill.

The church has been a home for refugees for years, particularly since the xenophobic attacks of 2008. Sapa