Bergvliet’s NIMBYs are a disgrace

People all over the city are trying to help out (see DC’s blog) with the refugee crisis that has hit Cape Town since the xenophobic violence. However, it would seem that these fine examples of humanity and selflessness only go so far:

The Methodist Church has accused some Bergvliet parents of “an exquisite form of genteel xenophobia” for forcing refugees and migrants displaced in xenophobic violence to move from a church in the upmarket suburb.
The Methodist Church has expressed its disappointment at having to move 57 displaced foreigners from the Bergvliet Methodist Church to venues elsewhere, because of “safety and health” concerns of parents of children at the preschool on the property.

Yes, when it comes to actually having displaced people living in a church hall near your house and using the same toilets as your children, then suddenly your viewpoint changes. Dropping a couple of cans of beans or an old coat in at a collection station is great, because then you don’t actually have to see the problem. Someone else can do the hard miles and you can sit back in your comfy chair in front of your fire knowing that some poor black person is happier now – as long as he has a tin opener, anyway.

But actually finding that your local church has made its safe, dry and warm church hall available to temporarily house immigrants fleeing from violence.
Hang on a minute! Little Verity goes to creche there – whatever is the church thinking, providing shelter and food for these stinking, robbing, drug-taking foreigners?!?

I disagree with Tim Attwell’s “genteel xenophobia” comment. It’s an oxymoron.
Yes, he’s comparing it to the horrific violence in the informal settlements – but in many ways, moving these people on in this way is equally prejudiced, equally unnecessary, equally heartless, equally ugly. It’s xenophobia – hatred of those who are different to you – there’s nothing genteel about it.

Four parents wrote to the church and 12 signed a petition, giving the church an ultimatum to remove the displaced families, or they would remove their children or stop paying fees.

The refuge seekers were moved to Trinity Methodist Church in Heathfield, Aldersgate Methodist Church in Steenberg, and Lotus River and Grassy Park Methodist Churches at the weekend.
Members of the Bergvliet congregation are still taking food to the people every day.

That 16 misinformed, prejudiced hypocrites can have such an impact on the lives of these people, especially in their time of need, is a great shame. I know some of those “members of the Bergvliet congregation” who are continuing their good work in helping the refugees. They now have to drive further into less reputable areas and at their own cost – many of them are pensioners who struggle to afford petrol as it is. It’s sad that their humanitarian efforts have been associated with this negative story.

I hereby invite any of those parents who complained to the church to get in touch and give their side of the story. Because, as it stands right now, you are as much a disgrace to this country as those beating and burning their neighbours in the townships.

Bergvliet Methodist Church: (021) 715-3045

NIMBY – “Not In My Back Yard”

48 thoughts on “Bergvliet’s NIMBYs are a disgrace

  1. Yup . that is so very true. the lakeside and muzenberg rate payers have also voiced worries about refugee camps that are so close to their own back yards. this xenophobia is going to surface the under belly of humanity fprm both south africans and the imigrants themselves. I have to say some of teh victims have not covered themselves in glory either. the fighting in the camps and various demands to be shipped off to australia and the states have been rather unsettling. thanks for the ping btw 🙂

  2. Well there you go, church goers being church goers again.

    If you’re going to be a tosser, at least come out and admit it right out like I do instead of being a hypocrite.

    It’s probably the same nutters that ring my bell three times a week asking me to pray with them.

    Goblin@Work’s last blog post was: A little bit older, a little bit more eccentric. (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  3. @Goblin@Work: Hmm. You’ve got the wrong end of the stick, Gobbles. Despite my healthy atheism and my usual disdain for christians, the CHURCHGOERS are doing an awesome job in this case, looking after the refugees. It’s the CRECHEGOERS (or rather their parents) who just happen to use the church hall (actually, the only bit the kids and the refugees share is the cloakroom) who are kicking up the unnecessary fuss.

  4. Ah, how this reminds me of life back in sunny South Africa. I can remember people who would have a gardener, and would provide meals and a nice cup of tea for their lunch. Said dinner and tea would be served on a tin plate, and in a tin mug – they couldn’t possible share their own dinner service with these people, could they?!?

    This would be the same type of person who had no qualms about the maid looking after their precious children, but the same maid would never be allowed to sleep on a bed in the house with the children.

    How sad that this is happening… people like that should be names and shamed!

  5. Gotta disagree with you on this one 6000, the church can either be a refuge or a creche, it cannot be both. I am a parent and if my kids had to share facilities with 57 strangers, irrespective of where they come from, I would find a new creche.

  6. Stan – Why? I have nothing against people who can justify making that choice. The parents in this case haven’t done that. I would even argue that they CAN’T do that.
    Do you take your kids to restaurants? Shopping centres? How is that different?

  7. The worst insult ever, brother…

    You allocated the name MNIB to MEEEE, and now you are using the same letters NIMB — creating an association between Meeeee and THE CHURCH!!!!!

    See how you score 14 (Fourteen) HITS with this offensive posting of yours.

  8. Couldn’t agree with you more!

    Whilst the safety of children should always be considered paramount, parents also have a responsibility to teach them the basics of humanity and compassion – regardless of religious beliefs.

    What sort of adults are these kids going to grow up into if they see this as acceptable behaviour?

    They are the future and allowing them to see from an early age that we should assist those less fortunate people in the world is crucial (and ultimately beneficial) to their long term personal development as members of the human race.

    nottspixie’s last blog post was: O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  9. Hang on there 6000. My son was in that school and I still have friends with ‘little people’ in there. Any responsible parent would have complained. If you know the building set-up you would understand. There’s the church/hall and there’s the school. The school area is not very big. It consists of two classrooms, toilets (for boys and girls) and a play area. The refugees used the kids toilets and they used the little play area for drying their clothes for instance on the jungle gym. I don’t know if you have kids, let alone kids in Jacob’s Ladder. You might have understood if you did. I don’t think the fact that the people the church was hosting were black had anything to do with it in all fairness (even though you would like it to sound that way). You are basically saying that it’s ok to let your toddler ‘hang-out’ with strangers the whole day. Use the same toilets etc. It’s not safe any way you look at it (health wise as well) and your criticism of these parents are too harsh. When you send your children to a daycare facility, you would like to at least know they are safe. What guarantee can you give those parents that their little ones are safe when they have to share with strangers and the most dangerous kind of strangers you can find namely adults. Why on earth must saving the world and proving to the world that white people are not racist rest of the shoulders of these children. Come on.

  10. @Roer: I’m hanging (or I suspect you’d like it that way).
    Thanks for you comment.
    I have personal involvement in this issue, so yes. I know the set up, I know the real story, I know what has been said to the people running the creche and to the people running the church. However, I have been very careful to pass comment only on what has been documented. To me, this is disappointing, as we both know that those who complained were very “genteel” in their written submissions and very “otherwise” off the record.
    I am a parent and I do recognise the importance of safety at daycare – of course. However, the set-up as it was did not compromise the safety of the kids at Jacob’s Ladder.
    Is it a racial issue? You say that you think not. I note that now the refugees have been moved on to other churches with a very similar set up in Retreat (a predominantly coloured area, for those not in Cape Town), we have seen none of the same outcry.

    Interesting, no?

  11. “…the set-up as it was did not compromise the safety of the kids at Jacob’s Ladder” – How on earth would you know? How could anybody know? Again, we are talking about strangers here.

    With regards to the (predominantly coloured) church in Retreat and the fact that there hasn’t been the same outcry from those parents… hey, we can’t help it if they’re ignorant. Anyone who thinks it’s a ‘safe’ situation must be very ill-informed with regards to crime in this country. The silence of those parents at the (need I remind everyone “predominantly coloured”) church / daycare in Retreat might be to the detriment of their children.

    I’m sorry, but I think on this one let’s just agree to disagree.

    Roer’s last blog post was: Selfverdediging raad (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  12. Sure I took them to restaurants and shopping malls, and when the were that young I kept my eyes on them all the time. No way would I let them go to the toilet on their own, especially with strangers around.

  13. If you think that Bergvliet residents are only ‘genteel xenophobics’, I invite you to take a look at the website of Bergvliet resident Richard Catto, who is actually actively advocating the genocide, the ‘extermination’ of an entire ethnic-minority in South Africa on his Cape Town News .CO.ZA website.

    See this latter-day Bergvliet Hitler’s rantings on: /2007/11/17/the-white-afrikaner-christian-a-complete-and-utter-train-wreck-fully-on-the-road-nay-highway-to-hell/#comment-8387

    This man is a disgrace to your entire town!
    Richard Catto lives at Fairglen Mews, Austell Road, Bergvliet Cape Town tel. 073-258-8545

    His writings are particularly dangerous in these volatile times, yet there he sits, writing this racist rubbish in the middle of ‘genteel’ Bergvliet.

  14. @Adriana Stuijt: Not really in the middle of Bergvliet – he’s on the other side of Main Road.

    But I take your point.

  15. It is against the UN Human Rights convention and against the SA Constitution to propagate and actively encourage genocide. I think it’s disgraceful that this man is allowed to sit in Bergvliet and call for the extermination of entire ethnic group.

  16. I am not in favour of censoring anything on the internet, however I have lodged formal complaints with the SA Human Rights Council, the Press Ombudsman, the mayor of Cape Town, the security department of the city of Cape Town. I am a retired journalist in The Netherlands, otherwise I would also have travelled to the police station closest to this man’s house and lodged a formal charge of crimen injuria and advocacy of genocide against him. Any resident in Bergvliet who feels sufficiently insulted and indeed may even feel frightened by this man’s utterings is of course also entitled to lodge formal charges against him. I have also written to the SA ambassador in The Hague and I will continue to lodge formal complaints against him until he ceases his activities. This is an utterly unacceptable situation, especially under the volatile atmosphere in the country.

  17. @6000: While Ms Stuiijt has a valid case against Catto, bear in mind that she is regular contributor to the very racist SA Sucks blog at [name of racist website deleted]. blogspot. com/

    Lucuis Spencer Sulla’s last blog post was: Disgusting and Despicable Pron! (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  18. @Lucuis Spencer Sulla: Thanks for the heads up.

    Now. If everyone could please stop hating everyone else, I think we’d all be a lot happier.

  19. I might be contributing to that particular satirical site, but I am also most definitely not calling for the annihilation of an entire ethnic-group. That particular activity is contributed to Mr Catto – and he’s even proud of it.

  20. @Adriana Stuijt: You say toe-may-toe, I say tomato. You say satirical, he says racist. You say annihilation, I say Ruud was still technically offside.

    All about your viewpoint, really.

  21. So you are another one of those Bergvliet residents who believe, as does Mr Catto, that all white people who speak Afrikaans are racists? Based on that premise, you should perhaps be joining his genocide-campaign.

  22. @Adriana Stuijt: Um… No. Not sure where you got that idea from. You’re doing your cause no favours by making that sort of wild accusation though.

  23. Did not accuse you. Asked a question. It’s a rather reasonable question to ask of someone who runs a website named “6000 miles from civilisation”… I apologise if you took offense of course. It was not meant as such. I am just so outraged about what this man is advocating that my emotions ran away with me. Sorry about that!

  24. @Adriana Stuijt: Generalisation – lumping everyone together just because you think they share one similarity – is where offence can easily be caused.
    FYI: Catto and I have nothing in common. Heck! I don’t even live in Bergvliet.

  25. You? Catto? Similar?

    Hahahhahahahhaha. Oh good lord.

    Goblin’s last blog post was: Do not want. (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  26. Adriana Stuijt, as an Afrikaans speaking resident of Bergvliet, I appreciate your concern.

  27. In the same places as always? Unlike some people pffft.

    Goblin’s last blog post was: Do not want. (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  28. Hmm, Adriana points out that a resident of your area is hellbent on making sure every last Afrikaner in existence is murdered and advocating the rallying of people toward that cause on the Internet — and the general response is one of either indifference or ad hominem against her to detract from her message (the person is irrelevant to the message, play the ball, not the person) – I can forgive her for being mistaken that some of you support Catto, because frankly that’s the exact same impression I got.

  29. @David: Shame. I was hoping that you would get the impression that it’s of absolutely no relevance to this post.
    Posting her same claims on any site which pops up in a Google of “Bergvliet” unsurprisingly doesn’t win Adriana many fans. Why? Because this site isn’t a soapbox for emotional claims of biogtry. (Unless they’re my emotional claims of bigotry, of course.)

    P.S. I note from the Google search which got you here (yes, I can see that) that you obviously already have an interest in Adriana’s cause. Funny that you chose not to mention that in your heartfelt mini-rant, ne?

  30. Hoop jy ken iemand wat Afrikaans kan praat! Hou maar jou vliegtuigkaartjie gereed. Jy is die eerste lafaard
    wat in die vliegtuig spring wanneer die geweld hier nog erger raak. Ek was al in Sheffield, aaklige grys fabrieks dorp, kan my indink dat die Kaap vir jou mooi is. Miskien gaan dit aanhou reen in die Kaap totdat jy weer verkas terug Engeland, selfs die Engele kan nie ophou “huil” oor jou teenwoordigheid hier nie.

  31. @Pretoria: I hope you know someone who can speak English!
    Pretoria? What sort of a name is that? Do you represent the whole of Tshwane, Karen, or what?
    What a charming comment, albeit utterly misguided. You’ve obviously no idea about me or about sunny Sheffield by the sea. If I was really the sort to jump onto a plane at the first sign of things going wrong, then I’d be writing this from the UK, n’est pas? Although, as the rain continues to drum upon the roof, maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing right now.
    I note that you arrived at 6000 miles… by searching Adriana Stuijt’s name. Her comments on here are certainly generating a lot of hits for me. Sadly, they’re all from idiots.

  32. Ek stel nie belang in wie jy is nie. Ek kan engels praat maar ek wil nie, ek drink nie eers tee nie.
    [continues on for several boring minutes of ranting]

    Edited by 6000…

  33. Pretoria (Ms Tshwane) » Enough. Please adhere to the T&C’s of this site by using English to comment, since you claim to be able to speak it.
    Any further comments of yours in afrikaans will be binned, since they provide scant interest for the 99.9% of the world that doesn’t praat jou taal and are completely irrelevant to any post on this site.

  34. “P.S. I note from the Google search which got you here (yes, I can see that) that you obviously already have an interest in Adriana’s cause. Funny that you chose not to mention that in your heartfelt mini-rant, ne?”

    Yeah because that too was completely irrelevant to my claim, “ne”. Now how about arguing the actual point. (I run many websites of my own so I know full well “what you can see”, in case you thought you scared me with that childish display.)

    Perhaps you actually also want to post the google search (likely something like ‘catto bergvliet’ though I don’t remember) instead of alluding that I might’ve googled adriana.

    Now seeing as the topic has come up perhaps you want to clarify your stance on Catto’s advocacy of the genocide of Afrikaners. I see you are having an EXTREMELY hard time doing something as simple as denouncing that position, I wonder why.

  35. David » Wonder no more. It’s because I really don’t give a toss what he says, because he’s a nobody.
    If it were Jacob Zuma or Nelson Mandela that had made such statements, I would be concerned.
    It’s not though, is it?

    However distasteful they may be, it’s a nobody that’s saying these things. Your constant harping on about it only attracts more attention to his desperate ego. Every time you come on here with your comments which are wholly irrelevant to anything I have posted (he doesn’t live in Bergvliet, I don’t live in Bergvliet), you add fuel to his sad little fire. Can you not see that?

    Finally, please don’t tar me with the same brush as him. Ever.

    P.S. If you attempt to post on this site again using a false email address, I will ban you immediately.

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