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Foreign nationals call on international community to help them leave SA

The men, women and children living in the Methodist church are sleeping on benches and floors on mattresses, blankets and yoga mats.

Foreign nationals are seen at the Greenmarket Square in the Cape Town CBD on 5 November 2019. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Hundreds of protesting foreigners are still living in a chapel off Greenmarket Square in the heart of Cape Town's CBD.

They fled there after police forcibly removed them from outside the UN Refugee Agency offices almost a week ago.

They had camped there for more than three weeks, demanding the UNHCR help them leave South Africa due to xenophobic attacks.

The men, women and children living in the Methodist church are sleeping on benches and floors on mattresses, blankets and yoga mats.

Organisation Gift of the Givers is providing food and medical volunteers are assisting those who are feeling ill, specifically young children.

Over the weekend, foreigners and parishioners held mass at the church and refugee leader Sylvia Nahimana said they were thankful for the accommodation.

However, she said they would not stop the fight to be assisted to leave the country.

Nahimana said they wanted to appeal on the international community to assist.

“I want the international world to help and to take us out of this country.”