Actress looking to party apologises for abusing SA asylum rules

Sowetan  – 14 June 2022

Lithuanian lied to home affairs about seeking asylum from war in Ukraine.
Image: 123rf

A Lithuanian actress has been forced to apologise to the South African government after she lied about seeking asylum from the war in Ukraine.

According to the department of home affairs spokesperson Siya Qoza, Leva Andrejevaite was deported after she tried to abuse SA’s asylum management laws so she can go partying in Cape Town.

Qoza said the actress was denied entry after she arrived at the Cape Town International Airport in a private jet without a visa.

“After that refusal of entry, she then lied to immigration officials making up a story of wanting to apply for asylum. As a result of our asylum seeker laws, immigration officials’ hands were tied and they were required to let her into the country so that she could apply for asylum within five days,” the department stated. 

Andrejevaite, who has since apologised to the SA government in writing, then failed to apply for asylum and was instead seen on social media partying up a storm in Cape Town hosted by Rob Hersov.

The department said failure to apply for asylum within the prescribed period rendered Andrejevaite an illegal alien. She apparently tried to challenge the department in the Western Cape High Court but was ordered by the court to apologise after her lies were exposed.

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“After being served with the department’s opposing papers, Ms Andrejevaite realised that she had lied to the immigration officials and then to the High Court and would face the possibility of criminal charges over and above the consequences and embarrassment stemming from her High Court application,” the department said.

In an apology letter addressed to SA citizens, home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi and employees of the department, Andrejevaite  claims that she had no idea that a visa was required to travel to SA.

“I was looking forward to entering South Africa and enjoying my time here and as such I was wrongly advised to allege that I was an asylum seeker and applied for an asylum transit visa. This was clearly a wrong and unlawful way for me to enter South Africa,” she stated.

Andrejevaite also apologised for making disparaging comments about SA and its department of home affairs. 

In closing Andrejevaite said she meant no harm and would love to visit the country again.

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