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CT refugee 'leader' held in custody after court appearance on assault charges

The self-styled leader of some of the refugees sheltering in a Methodist church will spend the next week behind bars after he was remanded in custody following his appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court.

JP Balous faces eight charges of assault, five with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

The State argued that he has no fixed address but his defence wanted R1000 bail as he could provide details of a fixed address in Parow.

Balous will appear in court again next Friday.

EWN's Kevin Brandt reports that the latest developments have divided the two factions amongst the refugees even further. A number of anti-Balous demonstrators were present outside court.

They don't want him to get bail, they accuse him of attacking people inside the church. They say that he's in possession of very dangerous weapons.

Kevin Brandt, Reporter - EWN

More people have now also moved from inside the church to the pavements on Greenmarket Square, where there is still a strong police presence.

The police nyala is still stationed there to ensure that peace and quiet is being maintained in that area

Kevin Brandt, Reporter - EWN

The refugees are scheduled to have a meeting with officials from Home Affairs as well as the City of Cape Town on Monday, which is expected to address future plans to accommodate them in better circumstances.

The Western Cape High Court has indicated that the City must come up with alternative measures for these refugees. The Human Rights Commission also very much involved in the day-to-day operations.

Kevin Brandt, Reporter - EWN

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