Nov 30, 2015 - Business Permit    No Comments

Judge lashes out at refugee authority

Cape Argus – 29 November 2015
A FURIOUS Western Cape High Court judge has threatened to refer the refugee application debacle to the public protector after hauling the Home Affairs Department over the coals.
Ordering Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, the Home Affairs department and refugee authorities to persuade him otherwise by next month, Judge Ashley Binns-Ward hit out at what he termed “systematic dysfunctionality” in the department.
In the case, UCT’s Refugee Rights Clinic reacted after the respondents failed to file the administrative record of the case, which led to delays and to the matter eventually coming to a standstill.
The clinic accused the respondents of using strategies to frustrate and defeat their efforts to assist clients.
In the application, it emerged that the clinic’s client, Kennedy Tshiyombo, had fled from violence in the DRC nearly 10 years ago, claiming he had been kidnapped and forcibly inducted into rebel military forces. He later managed to escape and flee to South Africa.
Tshiyombo received an asylum seeker permit, which was renewed from time to time and was asked to complete a fresh application for refugee status in October 2008.
But days later his application was rejected as unfounded.
A later appeal to the Refugee Appeal Board was also dismissed.
He turned to the High Court, asking it to review and set aside the decisions of the refugee status determination officer.
Judge Binns-Ward directed the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office to issue Tshiyombo with a formal written recognition of refugee status. The Appeal Board, the refugee status determination officer and the Reception Office were ordered to show cause why they should not be held personally liable for the additional costs Tshiyombo incurred.

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