Legal Articles and Guides
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A landmark court order has eliminated administrative barriers for asylum-seeking and refugee families whose dependents may now apply to be documented either through family-joining or on their own terms, says a Cape Times report.
The Scalabrini Centre is going back to court to demand that an official be appointed to oversee the reopening of the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office, says a Cape Argus report.
Although the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court has ruled that former Mozambican Finance Minister Manuel Chang can be extradited to the US, where he is wanted on charges related to a $2bn debt scandal, the ruling effectively constitutes only a recommendation to Justice Minister Michael Masutha, who has the final say.
Eight years of damning judgments about its treatment of immigrants have failed to make the Home Affairs Department mend its ways, the acting President of the SCA said on Friday in dismissing the department's latest attempt to defend its shortcomings.
Malusi Gigaba, former Home Affairs Minister, was 'incorrect' in granting members of the Gupta family early naturalisation, MPs have decided. The National Assembly's Home Affairs Committee did not recommend sanctions against Gigaba but recommended that criminal charges be laid against Gupta lieutenant Ashu Chawla and members of the Gupta family 'relating to false information submitted in their early naturalisation applications', reports News24.
Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) has described the decision by the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) to dismiss an application by eight Somali asylum seekers to review their rejected applications as shocking. The LHR’s Wayne Ncube said the organisation intended to appeal the decision.
It is hoped that the compassionate approach to immigration – in the unanimous judgment by Constitutional Court Justice Edwin Cameron in Ruta v Minister of Home Affairs – will be adopted by the department, notes legal journalist Ohene Yaw Ampofo-Anti in an examination of the judgment on the GroundUp site.
Haunted by the knowledge that their children’s futures are slipping away as a result of Home Affairs officials’ refusal to issue them with birth certificates – a group of SA parents has filed a class action against the department. A Daily Dispatch report says the main aim of the legal action – led by lead counsel Lilla Crouse SC – is to stop officials from demanding DNA tests that cost thousands of rands before children are issued with a birth certificate.
The Constitutional Court’s interpretation of the Refugees Act has serious implications for all asylum seekers who do not present themselves at refugee reception offices on entering SA, according to Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR). Business Day says LHR attorneys argued in the Constitutional Court yesterday that a Rwandan asylum seeker – who was allegedly sent to SA to eliminate exiled opponents of the country’s President – should have his asylum application considered.
Home Affairs is facing a legal challenge by the Legal Resource Centre for declaring a visa application by a Zimbabwean child fraudulent and banning him for five years from returning to SA. As a result, Wadzanai Bello has been separated from her 16-year-old son, Tinashe Bello, since March, reports GroundUp. He has missed a year of schooling.
Should foreigners who marry in SA before the expiry of their three-month visitor visas be allowed to regularise their stay? In papers filed at the Constitutional Court, Home Affairs bluntly says ‘no’ and maintains that allowing this would lead to an abuse of immigration laws on a ‘drastic scale’, The Star reports.
Asylum seekers in SA yesterday secured a major legal victory after the Constitutional Court ruled that they were eligible to apply for visas or a temporary residence permit, even if their application for asylum was rejected. The Star reports the court was handing down a judgment on an appeal against the decision of the SCA relating to applicants who had been refused visas or permits under the Immigration Act.
Suspected Serbian hitman Dobrosav Gavric looks set to face extradition to his home country after the Constitutional Court ruled that he was not a candidate for refugee status. A Saturday Star report notes Gavric has spent the past seven years in prison after his true identity was discovered following the murder of suspected Cape Town underworld figure Cyril Beeka.
The National Assembly’s Home Affairs Committee will begin quizzing key role-players in the Gupta naturalisation saga next week. Individuals called to testify include Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, and the department’s former DG, Mkuseli Apleni, who recently resigned to take up a post in the private sector, says a BusinessLIVE report.
The University of Cape Town’s Refugee Rights Unit has called on the Department of Home Affairs to re-open its refugee reception offices for first-time asylum applications. The unit appeared before the National Assembly’s Home Affairs Committee yesterday when it made a submission on the proposed amendments to the Immigration Bill.