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Reprieve for Exiles Facing Destitution in South Africa

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

There are an estimated 3 million Zimbabweans living in South Africa.

There are an estimated 3 million Zimbabweans living in South Africa.

Hundreds of Zimbabwean refugees who were facing eviction from the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday may not be headed for destitution after all.

This after an outpouring of support from well-wishers offering alternative housing for the exiles who found shelter at the church after fleeing their countries, thanks to Bishop Paul Verryn’s big heart.

While his kind gesture earned him admiration and love from the beneficiaries, it did quite the opposite to his clerical colleagues as the church became more and more crowded.

And recently authorities took advantage of Bishop Verryn’s transfer and secured an eviction order against the more than 400 refugees, arguing they had run down the premises.

They also accused them of running up a staggering R2 million electricity bill that had become an albatross to the church.

But as the refugees faced certain destitution Wednesday, Verryn vowed he will not allow forceful removals without alternative housing.

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