Congolese journalists accuse refugee leader Papy Sukami of assault

TimesLIVE visited the Central Methodist Mission to find Sukami, but he was not available to comment. Another leader, Jean-Pierre Balous, denied the claims against Sukami.  "No such thing happened," he said. "A lot of these people are spreading lies about us, to say that we are doing this for other reasons. We just want to be given safe passage to somewhere else. "We have never threatened anyone. It is us who are threatened." Sukami later denied the claims during an interview with TimesLIVE. He said the allegations amounted to a personal attack. "That man Shaumba is trying to ruin my life," he alleged. Sukami said Shaumba had shared pictures of him on social media, accompanied by disparaging claims, without his consent. He said taking the camera was an attempt to delete the footage when Shaumba refused to do so. He claimed he "gave the camera back but [Shaumba] did not want to take it". Meanwhile, Balous said that the number of refugees in the church was dwindling, with noticeably fewer people sleeping between the pews.  "Some have gone back to where they live," he said. "I am only here to help those who want to be helped." This week, the disgruntled leader said that the group would be prepared by the end of the week to "walk thousands of kilometres in convoy" to a nearby country "like Botswana or Namibia" to escape alleged xenophobia in SA. 
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TimesLIVE visited the Central Methodist Mission to find Sukami, but he was not available to comment.

Another leader, Jean-Pierre Balous, denied the claims against Sukami. 

“No such thing happened,” he said. “A lot of these people are spreading lies about us, to say that we are doing this for other reasons. We just want to be given safe passage to somewhere else.

“We have never threatened anyone. It is us who are threatened.”

Sukami later denied the claims during an interview with TimesLIVE. He said the allegations amounted to a personal attack.

“That man Shaumba is trying to ruin my life,” he alleged.

Sukami said Shaumba had shared pictures of him on social media, accompanied by disparaging claims, without his consent. He said taking the camera was an attempt to delete the footage when Shaumba refused to do so.

He claimed he “gave the camera back but [Shaumba] did not want to take it”.

Meanwhile, Balous said that the number of refugees in the church was dwindling, with noticeably fewer people sleeping between the pews. 

“Some have gone back to where they live,” he said. “I am only here to help those who want to be helped.”

This week, the disgruntled leader said that the group would be prepared by the end of the week to “walk thousands of kilometres in convoy” to a nearby country “like Botswana or Namibia” to escape alleged xenophobia in SA.