Legal Articles and Guides
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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.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has initiated a process to revoke the permanent residency of Ajay Gupta as the net closes on the controversial Gupta brothers, says a Sunday Times report. It says Gigaba has instructed his DG, Mkuseli Apleni, to investigate how Ajay obtained residency and seek legal advice about withdrawing it.
Recently re-appointed Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba claimed yesterday Atul Gupta was not a South African citizen – but TimesLIVE says it has proof that Atul is in fact a citizen. Contained in thousands of #GuptaLeaks e-mails is a copy of Atul’s South African passport.
The Public Protector has ordered the Home Affairs Minister to review the 10-year period to apply for naturalisation and ensure it aligns with the five-year period stipulated in the Citizenship Act. The Public Protector received complaints from 18 individuals about the time it took for the department to finalise their applications for naturalisation.
The DA says it would go to court to block any attempt by the government to grant asylum to deposed Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace, according to a report in The Citizen. James Selfe, chair of the DA’s federal executive, said the party had written to President Jacob Zuma and his Foreign Minister to warn that taking in Mugabe would be ‘in contravention of the Refugees Act’.
It has been more than two years since the SCA ordered the Department of Home Affairs to reopen the Port Elizabeth refugee reception office. But this has not happened, a report in The Times says. In 2011 the department closed its refugee reception offices in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg. This resulted in three cases challenging the closure.
The SCA has ruled that asylum seekers may no longer apply for any type of visa while they are in SA and must do so before entering. A Cape Times report notes the judgment comes after Home Affairs Minister and department DG appealed a previous High Court ruling that asylum seekers were entitled to apply for visitors and work visas while in the country.
Human rights lawyers claimed victory following the Constitutional Court’s ground-breaking judgment ordering that all ‘illegal foreign’ nationals in detention at the time it handed down yesterday’s order against government be brought before a court within 48 hours, notes a Cape Times report. Previously the court was mandated to review a detention in instances where individuals were held for more than 30 days.
A Zimbabwean man who was allegedly illegally arrested and detained by rogue police officers is suing the SAPS for R1m, says a report in The Star. Nathan Meda said Gauteng Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Deliwe de Lange had failed to act on his 250-page dossier detailing the abuse and harassment he and his wife, Sherylie Tsungayi Ngorima, suffered at the hands of rogue policemen from the Elsburg police station in Germiston.
Three foreigners – from India, Pakistan and the DRC – with the aid of immigration attorney Tashriq Ahmed have succeeded in winning a landmark Western Cape High Court ruling setting aside as invalid and unconstitutional the Department of Home Affairs’ controversial Directive 21. The directive, which Home Affairs DG Mkuseli Apleni signed in February, bars refugee and asylum seekers from the right to apply for a visa in terms of the Immigration Act, notes a Weekend Argus report.
Home Affairs has agreed at the eleventh hour to grant citizenship to a stateless child born in SA, opening the way for others in the same predicament, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) said yesterday, according to a News24 report. Following a two-year wait, the SCA was supposed to have heard the matter yesterday.