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Gift of the Givers withdraws services from refugees after being told to leave

Last week, the reverend had welcomed them in and offered protection against police who were rounding up the men, women and children who had been camping outside the UNHCR offices for more than three weeks.

FILE: Refugees living in Cape Town spent the night at the Central Methodist Mission Church after clashes with police during their removal from the UNHCR's offices on 30 October 2019. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers has withdrawn its services at the Cape Town church where hundreds of refugees are living.

Last week, the reverend had welcomed them in and offered protection against police who were rounding up the men, women and children who had been camping outside the UNHCR offices for more than three weeks.

* Church appeals to govt to help assist foreign nationals in CT

The foreigners are demanding government and the agency help them leave South Africa due to xenophobic attacks.

Gift of the Givers has been providing daily meals, medical assistance and hygiene products to the disgruntled foreigners who have been living among the pews of the Methodist Church.

However, Gift of the Givers director Badr Kazi said refugees told them to leave because they were angered by his view that their demand to be relocated en masse was unrealistic.

“I said their demands are unrealistic and I stand by that because if you look at the Refugee Act, you can’t ask a country to send you to another country.”

Refugee leader Papy Sukumi explained why they were angered by the comments.

“They said it was unrealistic. So must we stay here so that they can kill us?”