Man accused of trying to flee SA with money raised for CT foreign nationals

Refugee activist JP Balous is accused of planning to flee the country with money collected through online crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy.

Police make their presence felt at the Central Methodist Mission Church in Cape Town on 30 December 2019. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A war-of-words has erupted between representatives for a group of foreigners being housed in a church in the city centre.

Some want refugee activist JP Balous out after he was accused of stealing crowdfunding money. Tensions escalated on Sunday, leading to clashes.

Three men were arrested after they’ve been found in possession of dangerous weapons.

One of the leaders, Papy Sakumi, alleged that Balous was planning to flee the country with money collected through online crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy.

Around R75,000 had been raised for the foreigners.

But Sakumi claimed that no one apart from Balous was benefiting.

"People call us, they show us online that he's making money, along with another lady, that they're raising money on behalf of the refugees but they're making money."

But Balous said that the money was being used to buy medicine and formula for the babies.

"She has receipts for everything, she keeps records. She buys medication... sometimes R14,000, R20,000, R10,000, R8,0000... and she brings it here. It helps the kids."

Police are keeping an eye on the group to prevent any further violence.