Legal Articles and Guides
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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.
A family of three has been stateless for a year as a result of the Home Affairs Department not finalising the father’s SA citizenship. According to a TimesLIVE report, the father could not visit India when his mother got ill last year, nor when she died in March this year because the permanent resident ID he has does not allow him to apply for a passport.
The Western Cape High Court has set aside a decision by the Department of Home Affairs to refuse a stateless family's application for citizenship. A TimesLIVE report says the Mulowayi family, of Kensington‚ Johannesburg‚ finally found relief after a protracted battle with the department which had refused their application for citizenship on what has now been determined to be wrongful grounds.
Eastern Cape High Court (Port Elizabeth) Judge Glenn Goosen has ordered two senior government officials to fix a computer glitch that is preventing the placement of two orphans – who, for 16 months, have been without the required paperwork to stay in SA – in foster care.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says his department will reopen the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office as soon as the Public Works Department (DPW) has finalised the allocation of suitable office accommodation, says a Cape Argus report.
A group of asylum seekers will argue in the Constitutional Court today that all foreigners, including asylum seekers and refugees, in SA are entitled to apply for visas. A Business Day report notes they are approaching the court for leave to appeal against a decision by the SCA in September 2017 that overturned a High Court judgment, which declared that a 2015 immigration directive by the Department of Home Affairs was invalid and inconsistent with the Constitution.
Briton James Tomlinson, a permanent resident in SA, and his wife, Sarah Nandutu, a Ugandan citizen, have won – and lost – in their Western Cape High Court Home battle with Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba. While their son, Joshua, will finally have the birth certificate they needed, they failed to convince the court to amend immigration regulations that have prevented them from living as a family.
A Constitutional Court judgment, which provides protection to asylum seekers whose applications for refugee status were under review, has been welcomed by the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), says TimesLIVE. Twenty-nine asylum seekers, represented by the LRC, challenged the refusal of the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office to renew their Section 22 asylum seeker permits pending the outcome of individual High Court reviews of each of their rejected applications.
The Department of Home Affairs is facing more legal action to re-open the Cape Town refugee reception office to alleviate the plight of thousands of newcomer asylum seekers, says a Mail & Guardian Online report. For the past six years, Cape-based asylum seekers have travelled at least twice a year to Refugee Reception Offices in Pretoria, Durban and Musina to receive proper documentation, putting their jobs and monetary resources at risk.