experience is that xenophobia is practiced in many subtle ways,what
makes you believe the children will not be subjected to humiliation,
xenophobia and eventually lose the shelter and schooling?
With regards to the children the first priority would be to place the
children in a facility where the protection granted to children under the Bill of Rights of the Constitution is not being violated.
Almost every right afforded to children under the Bill of Rights is being
violated as long as the children are staying at the Central Methodist
Once the children are placed in a proper, controlled, and monitored
environment where all activities relating to the development of the child can be monitored effectively, then we will be able to identify any such “subtle” xenophobia that you refer to.
At present the children cannot be monitored. Paul Verryn refused assistance and guidance from any entity (including govt, which has the responsibility to apply the conditions spelled out by the constitution in the protection of the rights of the child).
Also the children are kept at the CMC in conditions where they are subjected to and susceptible to abuse, manipulation, crime, rape, disease, and countless other horrible things that children should not be subjected to.
The conditions at the church are on-going , cannot be checked and cannot be controlled.
Has any organization actually bothered to do inspection of the facilities that government was providing for the children.
Was there any documented report that identified these facilities as being unfavourable or unsuitable for the children.
Was there any documented investigation of the so-called “subtle” xenophobic attitudes.
Everyone just “rallied” behind what PV had to say.
Children are easily influenced and manipulated, and we believe that this applies to the children at the CMC.
Furthermore, children which have for so long been staying at a place where no discipline is being applied, find it very hard to adapt to conditions where discipline and structure are implemented as a norm.
Allegations of Xenophobia at the facility provided for by government are unfounded..
The home at Orange Farm is brand new. Has a complex of houses, which accommodates ten children with its own sitting room, dining room, tv and a house-mother for each house. All are standing practically empty. A facility that can handle 150 children has only 36. There was no Xenophobica attitudes from staff and the facility even had at the time a foreign volunteer psychiatric nurse.
Why would anyone with humane principles allow children to remain under inhumane conditions when suitable favourable accommodation exists. What kind of people flaunt with the rights of children in such a manner.
What kind of precedent are we setting here..
The Social Welfare dept (whose job is to watch over the rights of children) like the DMPSP found the conditions at the CMC to be contrary to those favourable for well being and habitation by children.
> It is very true that the political situation in Zimbabwe is far from being normal,what is wrong when someone such as Bishop Verryn tries to shield defenceless people housed at CMC?
There is nothing wrong with Paul Verryn trying to help the poor and
destitute. However we must not fall into the trap of placing him on a
pedestal. Just like there are corrupt, incompetant or negligent government officials, so there are other such elements throughout any sector in society.
We are willing to point out and announce government officials incompetence, yet we are hesitant to touch on the subject if it involves clerics.
The fact remains that although PV intentions were indeed honourable, he has proven to be incapable of handling or managing the situation regarding the housing of such a number of people in a completely inadequate facility.
Maybe he should have tried to keep the number of people lower, so that he could really do something constructive for those he really was supposed to be helping.
As it stands, there are many people that should not be in the facility if we were to look at the principles behind the functioning of any shelter. There are people who staying in the church that have stable employement and are in reality beyond the need to be provided with shelter. Space and resources that are being utilized by these people could be better served by alleviating conditions for those who are really in need.
On several occasions I have seen newcomers to the city, who are really stranded and destitute, not even get any food at the church because others who have been there longer and are in effect bullies, take the food for themselves.
We have had extensive experience at the CMC and have conducted extensive research at the facility. There is no way in which we can support any notion that the facility is any sort of dignified shelter for anyone.
>The only political party that has openly addressed the community at CMC is the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai who demonstrated his displeasure of the conditions at CMC.Could you name the organisations and political parties using the population at CMC as tools? Is the MDC one of them?
It is easy for you to go through media reports and find a whole list of organizations, NGO’s, Unions and even political parties that have stood behind Paul Verryn when anyone, including the authorities, has leveled any criticism regarding the church and the activities there or has tried to implement any sort of programme to re-structure and try relocate the children or people from the church.
Our research at the CMC has indicated that political indoctrination and intimidation is taking place at the church. There are activists even militants amongst the residents at the CMC. Whether they belong to whatever party, it has not been established.
There has been ample voiced support for PV’s efforts. Recently a whole conglomorate of organizations issued a joint statement basically honouring PV for his efforts. They mentioned only in passing a little comment about the conditions at the church “not being sustainable”…
Such weak words for an ongoing humanitarian crisis.
However most of these organization rarely fail to mention that the root cause of people being found at the church (and PV offering his assistance etc) is the Zimbabwean Govt failing at governance and the SA Govt failing to help etc. This is a political point that organizations mostly like to emphasize.
Little regard, in fact, is given for the people in the church.
As a point of criticism. I wish to extend this concern to the media. Which always tend to highlight the Zimbabwe Issue instead of concentrating on the real crisis of the conditions under which “humanitarian organizations” are allowing human beings, including children, to stay and live in at the CMC.
DMPSP’s concern is for the displaced people that are being allowed to remain in such a crisis. Our mission and objectives are clearly spelled out in our mission statement. (refer to our website http://www.dmpsp.org)
No NGO could call itself a humanitarian organization if they continued to allow, or supported the notion that people should stay under those
conditions, when alternative measures and facilities exist. Facilities where far more effective monitoring (including xenophobic attitudes)can be conducted and better services may be provided to beneficiaries who are in real and desperate need.
The criminality that goes on in the church is horrific.. Children are being used for criminal activities. Criminal gangs exist amongst the residents, political and psychological indoctrination is taking place.
We should never forget that a large amount of people that are staying at the CMC there are poor, destitute and vulnerable.
Is this a favourable situation?
Should we allow a facility that is badly managed and enfringing on basic human rights to continue to exist..
The Central Methodist Church is NO SHELTER.. and is certainly NO HAVEN.
Children and women are abused and rights are violated. People are robbed and assaulted.
The sleeping arrangements and living conditions in the church are inhumane.
DMPSP also declares that the facilities at the CMC to be contrary to those favourable for the well being and habitation by humans.
The only Notion that DMPSP supports regarding the CMC, is that the facility must be closed down.
People at the church should be profiled, and those in real need must be relocated to suitable facilities which have interactive and incorporate exit plans for allowing beneficiaries to become self-sustainable and reintegrated to society.
The remainder of residents that are self-sustaining should identify their own accommodation and integrate into the stream of society where they will conduct their lives in a normal manner.
To say that these people cannot leave the church because its “so bad” out there for foreigners.. is a complete lie..
Research conducted by our staff at Musina (Beit Bridge) monitoring the “migration” precess across the border indicated an average of approximately 4464 people that are migrating daily to Gauteng from Zimbabwe.
Only an extremely small percentage of these migrants end up at the CMC (the so-called “haven” for Zimbabwean “refugees”).
The rest of the people are out there in South African Society amongst the the other 4-6 million Zimbabweans residing amongst South Africans in South Africa.
DMPSP believes that although there have been incidents of Xenophobia, and attitudes of xenophobia exist throughout South African society. We should promote efforts to allow people to live together and integrate through normal social interaction within South African society.
By “encamping” foreigners in a facility such as the CMC, under those
conditions, with the amount of politisizing that is going on around the issue, we will be promoting xenophobia.
We condemn the continued justification for allowing people to remain at the CMC as being the economic sitiuation etc in Zimbabwe or any other feeble excuse for refusing to remove the people from such a facility.
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