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Foreign nationals living in CT church served with court papers

About 500 people - men, women and children - have been occupying the Cape Town Central Methodist Church since the end of October.

The foreign nationals, among them refugees, had been staging a sit-in at the Methodist Church in the Cape Town CBD and demanding they be helped to leave South Africa. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A group of foreign nationals, among them refugees, living in a church in the Cape Town CBD were served with court papers on Monday.

About 500 people - men, women and children - have been occupying the Cape Town Central Methodist Church since the end of October.

The church was made available after the foreigners illegally occupied the Waldorf Arcade in St. Georges Mall for a number of weeks calling on the UN Refugee Agency to help to get them back home.

Refugee leader Papy Sukami said he received papers from the sheriff of the court late on Monday afternoon. He and another three refugee leaders are expected to appear in court on next week.

The City of Cape Town applied to the court to compel the foreigners to stop conducting any form of sit-in protests in streets surrounding the Cape Town Central Methodist Church including Greenmarket Square.

The city also wants to stop the protesters from using public streets for making fires, cooking and eating food and doing laundry.

Inside the church is where the women and children sleep and outside are makeshift tents, people sleeping on mattresses, and clothes hang on street poles.

Some are also making food, with pots and pans on the pavements.

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