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Chaos erupts in CT CBD as refugees removed from ‘new home’ by police

The group of asylum-seekers moved to the St Mary's Cathedral after they were forced away from outside the Central Methodist Church in Greenmarket Square on Sunday morning.

Law enforcement and SAPS are still surrounding the St Mary’s Cathedral as the refugee group watches on, sitting on the pavement. The mattresses and other belongings left around the church are also being cleaned out. Picture: Jarita Kassen/EWN

CAPE TOWN - There are chaotic scenes in the Cape Town CBD as police and other law enforcement officers have removed a group of refugees from a church they have been occupying from Sunday afternoon.

The group of asylum-seekers moved to the St Mary's Cathedral after they were forced away from outside the Central Methodist Church in Greenmarket Square on Sunday morning.

That’s where they've camped out for several months.

The Western Cape High Court recently granted an interim order allowing the City of Cape Town to enforce its by-laws.

It meant that within seven days of the order the city could remove the refugees, by force if needed.

Police requested the group vacate the St Mary’s Cathedral and gave them time to do so.

The church had opened a case of trespassing against the group as they were not given permission to move onto the premises.
Some adhered to the call as they packed up and reluctantly left with their children while others refused to move.

When police intervened, they forcibly removed those who were still on the premises.

At least two people could be seen placed in police vans.

On the church grounds, law enforcement officers could be seen clearing the area as some foreigners stood by the gate looking on.