Refugee Leader JP Balous back in Court

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Court appearance today of a refugee leader Jean-Pierre “JP” Balous who is facing charges including theft, intimidation and defeating the ends of justice.

This case of this Congolese national was postponed after brief appearance on March 9 to allow the accused to consult with their Legal Aid attorneys and for bail conditions to be considered.

He was arrested together with two other accused who got engaged in a brawl in court fighting the police and as they were trying to free Balous.

He was able to escape court precinct with the help of his supporters while in hand handcuffs. But he was eventually apprehanded.

Balous has however opted to represent himself in the matter.

His co-accused are also fellow Congolese nationals Ombemi Awuri Issa, 27, and Burundian national Issa Lion, 50.

It is also said that Balous threatened to kill South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) commissioner Chris Nissen during a brawl in December 2019 at Cape Town Central Methodist Church when Nissen and Bishop Thabo Makgoba tried to address the refugees.

Refugees have been camping at the church since October and were eventually told to leave the church after several failed attempts to come up with a deal with them by SAHRC, Home Affairs and United Nations (UN).

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