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Durban church won't give up on fight to provide shelter for homeless

This comes after a case involving the Ark Christian Ministries Church in Durban was removed from the roll at the Durban High Court on Monday.

FILE: A man walks past homeless people sleeping outside a shop. Picture: EWN

DURBAN - A lobby group that wants half a billion rand from the eThekwini Municipality to build a shelter for the homeless said it would not give up.

This comes after a case involving the Ark Christian Ministries Church in Durban was removed from the roll at the Durban High Court on Monday.

Judge Anton van Zyl said the case could not proceed as the ministry had made its application using a deregistered company, however, the ministry's Peter Munns said they would find a way to make the municipality pay anyway.

Munns of the Durban Ark Christian Ministry said when the eThekwini Municipality started removing people from the ark homeless shelter 20 years ago, it promised long-term solutions.

He said they would fight to ensure the municipality kept its promise.

“Because I made it clear to the judge to be very careful. It’s not about common law. It’s about the humanitarian crisis and common sense. You cannot have homeless people suffer.”

Mary Henderson, who was among those evicted from the ark, said they were told they needed to make way for new developments in the city but not much has changed.

Another former ark resident, Sibusiso Ntuli, said the municipality had failed to maintain the buildings that were meant to be their temporary shelter.

“For almost 16 years now, no one has cared about it.”

The eThekwini Municipality argued through its lawyer in court on Monday that it could not be asked to pay the money as the case was based on a deregistered company.

However, Eyewitness News has established that the municipality did not pay the money it promised the residents, even when a company administered by the ark ministry was registered.