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20. May. 2024 News24

Home Affairs minister ordered to pay refugee R300 000 following unlawful arrest




• In June 2017, a refugee went to a Department of Home Affairs office to apply for the re-issue of his refugee papers that had been stolen during a robbery.
• Instead of getting help, Ntahompagaze Abdul was arrested by Home Affairs officials on a charge of being an illegal immigrant and detained for 13 days.
• The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has ordered that the minister of Home Affairs pay R300 000 to the refugee for the unlawful arrest and detainment.
The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has ordered the minister of Home Affairs to pay R300 000 to a refugee who was unlawfully arrested at one of the department`s offices after he tried to apply for a re-issue of his refugee papers that had been stolen.
On 7 June 2017, Ntahompagaze Abdul was arrested on a charge of being an illegal immigrant after he went to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) officers in Marabastad, Pretoria, to apply for his refugee documents - which he had lost during a robbery three days earlier.
According to a judgment handed down earlier in May, Abdul was arrested by members of the DHA. After that, he was handed over to members of the SA Police Service at the Pretoria Central Police Station, where he was detained for 13 days.
On 20 June 2017, Abdul was released when it was discovered that he had been mistakenly arrested, Judge Elizabeth Kubushi said.
`As a result of such arrest and detention, the plaintiff [Abdul] is said to have suffered an infringement of his right to physical and psychological integrity and physical liberty,` Kubushi said.
`The plaintiff has, consequently, instituted action for unlawful arrest and detention against the minister of home affairs and the minister of police. The matter is defended.`
The matter was initially set down for trial in May 2020, where it was partially settled.
`Among others, the following was by agreement between the parties made an order of court, namely, that (a) the defendant [minister of home affairs] concedes liability in respect of the plaintiff`s 100% proven or agreed damages; (b) the claim against the minister of police is withdrawn; and (c) the quantum is postponed sine die [with no appointed date for resumption].`
Kubushi said Abdul was claiming R13 000 for loss of income and general damages of R400 000, which was later increased to R600 000.
`During oral argument, the plaintiff`s counsel included a further claim for future medical expenses and related expenses in respect of the treatment of depression and anxiety.`
Post-traumatic stress disorder
As part of the matter, Abdul submitted medical reports by psychiatrists and psychologists, which spoke about his mental state following the arrest and detention.
Two specialist psychiatrists who independently examined Abdul agreed that, due to his arrest and subsequent incidents, he suffers from major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
`The psychiatrists agree that the plaintiff requires psychiatric treatment and management. They also agree that the plaintiff suffered trauma physically, emotionally and economically, but does not require protection on psychiatric grounds.`
Two clinical psychologists said Abdul`s unlawful arrest and incarceration had left him with a range of physical, emotional and psychological difficulties directly occasioned by the trauma of his experience in custody.
General damages
Kubushi said from the medical reports, it could be determined that, during his detention, Abdul could not make a phone call to inform anyone that he was incarcerated, which made him anxious.
He also could not make a phone call to get his medication brought to him.
The reports said:
During the time he could not take his medication, he developed rashes on certain parts of the body.
Abdul further told the experts that he was locked up with other inmates in a dirty, smelly holding cell with only one open toilet wherein when any person wanted to relieve themselves, they would have to do it in full view of others.
The minister of Home Affairs` counsel contended that Abdul was held at a police station and that prison would have been worse.
It was also argued that Abdul`s PTSD, anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder could not solely be a result of his arrest and detention because he is from a country that experienced war in the past, which caused his parents to flee to South Africa.
Based on case law and the facts before the court, Kubushi said the R600 000 claimed by Abdul as compensation for general damages was excessive.
`A fair, reasonable and appropriate amount to compensate the plaintiff in the circumstances of this matter is R300 000,` Kubushi said.
The court dismissed Abdul`s claim for loss of income as a hairstylist.
Meanwhile, the claim for future medical expenses and related expenses was postponed as Abdul`s legal team asked for a postponement to amend its application for such a claim.



V.5371
21. Jun. 2024 Business Tech

Big loss for Home Affairs in South Africa

The Department of Home Affairs has lost its legal battle over Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEPs). The Helen Suzman Foundation and the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) previously took the Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi to court over his termination of the ZEP under the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (PAJA). V.5436

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21. Jun. 2024 Business Day

The real culprit behind SA’s immigration woes

Proposed changes to the Citizenship Act fail to deal with the most serious problem: the department of home affairs The final white paper released recently by the home affairs ministry has brought SA’s immigration landscape into sharp focus. While it highlights several areas of concern within the present immigration framework, it fails to address the deeper issue at hand: the department of home affairs itself. V.5437

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21. Jun. 2024 The Citizen

Woman still fighting Home Affairs for ID 10 years later

Primrose Modisane, denied South African citizenship, fights decade-long battle for identity documentation and recognition. A Gauteng-based woman has been living a life of squalor because she does not have an identity document Primrose Modisane, 36, from Vosloorus in Ekurhuleni, claims she has tried in vain to convince the department of home affairs to issue her documentation as they kept on demanding endless proof that she was South African. V.5438

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21. Jun. 2024 MoonStone

SCA overturns precedent-setting cyber-crime judgment

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has set aside a judgment that opened the door to liability claims against businesses that send their banking details in an unsecured manner to a debtor who falls victim to cyber-crime. In January last year, the High Court in Johannesburg ordered law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs (ENS) to pay Judith Hawarden R5.5 million, plus interest and costs. Hawarden lost the money in August 2019 when she transferred the balance owed on a R6m property purchase. Hawarden thought she was paying the money into ENS’s account, but a cyber-criminal had accessed her email account. V.5440

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21. Jun. 2024 Tourism Update

Onerous visa regs threaten SA’s headquarter ambitions

South Africa’s immigration regulations could threaten the country’s aim to be the headquarters base for multinationals wanting to expand their operations into Africa, the Business Day reports. According to the report, Tata International has decided to base some of its key personnel in Tanzania because of the long delay in getting visas and work permits for its senior managers in SA. V.5441

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19. Jun. 2024 Business Day

There is a palpable change at home affairs department

But efficiency is not enough; applications must be processed fairly and approved without bias Something appears to have shifted within the department of home affairs, sparking a glimmer of hope for visa applicants and practitioners alike. In recent months there has been a noticeable increase in the speed at which applications are being processed. While it is too early to determine the exact cause, it is worth noting that this acceleration coincides with ongoing court cases challenging the department’s handling of immigration matters. Whether these changes are a direct response to legal pressure remains speculative, but the progress and outcomes we’re witnessing are undeniable. This is a significant step forward, signalling a potential turnaround in the backlog that has plagued the immigration system since the reopening after the Covid lockdowns. Could this be the beginning of the end for the backlog? We cautiously hope so. V.5432

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19. Jun. 2024 BBC

Biden to give legal status to 500,000 undocumented spouses

President Joe Biden has announced a new policy that would protect hundreds of thousands of undocumented spouses of US citizens from deportation, according to administration officials. The issue of immigration has proven an election-year headache for Mr Biden, who recently issued a sweeping executive action to curb record migrant arrivals at the US-Mexico border. The new policy will apply to those who have been in the country for at least 10 years and will allow them to work in the US legally. The White House believes more than 500,000 spouses will be eligible. Speaking at an event at the White House on Tuesday, Mr Biden said the move would help the US immigration system become less `unfair` and `unjust` for the benefit of immigrants, married couples - and all Americans. V.5433

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19. Jun. 2024 News24

Constitutional Court dismisses application for leave to appeal Zimbabwe permit decision

he Constitutional Court dismissed an application by the home affairs minister for leave to appeal a June 2023 Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruling that the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) programme had been unlawfully terminated. The court ordered the minister to meaningfully consult with the 178 000 affected permit holders, according to GroundUp. The matter was brought to court by the Helen Suzman Foundation, which argued that the minister had not taken into account the profound impact of the termination of the ZEP programme on those who had been living and working in South Africa, legally, for more than a decade. V.5434

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18. Jun. 2024 Enca

GNU | PA wants either Home Affairs or Police Ministry

JOHANNESBURG - The Patriotic Alliance says it`s willing to take the Police Ministry if Home Affairs isn`t up for grabs. The party has been gunning for Home Affairs, promising to mass deport all illegal foreigners. V.5429

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18. Jun. 2024 Travel Channel

Schengen-Style Visas For Asia & Africa? Exploring A New Era Of Multi-Country Travel

Will the proposed Schengen-style multi-country unified visa system ease travel across Southeast Asia, the Middle East and southern Africa? Visa applications can be time-consuming, with embassies evaluating documents, biometrics, and travel history. The US and Schengen visas have gained a global reputation for their thorough and extensive processes. However, in the wake of the pandemic, there has been a global surge in tourism and many countries are seeking to streamline visa processes to boost tourism and the local economies. Visas are being reimagined through new schemes and policies, with many nations bringing in the Schengen-style unified multi-country visa. V.5430

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18. Jun. 2024 The South African

Zimbabwe consulate in South Africa rolls out e-passports

Zimbabwe’s consulate in South Africa has announced that it will start rolling out an e-passport facility, starting on Tuesday. Consul-General Eria Phiri explained in a public notice that the first phase involved training consulate staff. This concluded on 15 June, and will now be followed by a system test run from June 18 to 21. South Africa is home to over one million Zimbabwean nationals. This is according to the country’s census data and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). The IOM also notes that many have entered South Africa without proper documentation. Zimbabweans have left their home country en masse to escape a political crisis, harsh economic conditions and chronic underdevelopment. V.5431

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13. Jun. 2024 IOL

Namibia demands reciprocal visas for their nationals

Nationals from thirty one countries will need to complete an online application form and obtain visas-on-arrival. Namibia`s Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security (MHAISS) has declared that thirty one countries, mainly from Europe, will be removed from its visa-exempt list due to the lack of reciprocal visa arrangements for Namibian citizens. While the implementation date is yet to be determined, nationals from these countries will need to complete an online application form and obtain visas-on-arrival, as stated by MHAISS. V.5428

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11. Jun. 2024 IOL

Border management dispels rumours claiming that there are flight delays at OR Tambo Airport

The Border Management Authority (BMA) has dismissed reports claiming that a transition to a biometric system at OR Tambo International Airport is causing delays for all international departures and arrivals. Commissioner at BMA, Dr Michael Masiapato said the false reports have caused unnecessary concern among travellers and stakeholders. V.5427

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10. Jun. 2024 Times Lives

Home affairs grapples with authenticity of relationships

The department needs to establish authenticity before granting spousal or relative visas A major headache for the department of home affairs in processing temporary residence visas is having to establish the authenticity of relationships claimed between individuals. V.5421

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10. Jun. 2024 Visa News

5 South African Countries Announce Plans to Introduce Single Visa to Promote Tourism

Key Takeaways • Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are planning to introduce a single tourist visa. • This visa, similar to the Schengen one, will permit entry to all these five countries for a short period. • GCC countries will soon also launch a single visa. Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have announced plans to simplify the movement of foreign travelers within their territories without the need to apply for separate documents. V.5422

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10. Jun. 2024 The South African

There’s a huge VISA backlog at home affairs that’s stifling SA

It’s ironic that with so many South Africans trying to leave the country, it’s a visa backlog for people trying to get INTO the country that’s stifling economic growth. According to a report from Business Tech, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has a visa backlog of 62 000 applications. These are for people and workers trying to get into the country to fill critical skills shortages. Now, visa agent Xpat, says the DHA are rejecting applications out of hand to simply try clear the huge visa backlog. The agent specialises in work permits for people coming to South Africa. It says individuals, HR professionals and businesses face lengthy delays and a needlessly complex application process WHAT’S THE REASON FOR THE VISA BACKLOG? Since COVID, there have been a number of changes to rectify problems within the DHA. And Xpatweb believes these administrative processes have led to mounting rejections for frivolous reasons. V.5423

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10. Jun. 2024 News24

`Habibi, come to South Africa!`: Dubai Bling`s Ebraheem confirms Forever Rose coming to SA

• Ebraheem Al Samadi, celebrated for his role on Dubai Bling, chose South Africa as his exquisite holiday destination. • He praised the country`s stunning landscapes, rich history, and the warmth of its people, declaring it an ideal vacation destination. • Al Samadi revealed plans to expand his Forever Rose café franchise to South Africa and teases what he describes as the ultimate season of Dubai Bling. `My name is Ebraheem, and this is my tongue. Beware!` The Blooming Man says in Netflix`s Dubai Bling, an iconic line that cements his place as `the son of a king, and the son of a queen`. V.5424

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10. Jun. 2024 The Guardian

High court rules Home Office acted unlawfully over visa documents

Home Office failed to provide digital proof of status to those applying for visa extensions, in new Windrush-style scandal The Home Office is facing a new Windrush-style scandal after a landmark high court ruling found that the home secretary acted unlawfully by failing to provide documents to thousands of migrants proving they are here legally. The charity Ramfel brought the legal challenge along with Cecilia Adjei, a healthcare worker and mother of two boys aged 17 and 11, who came to Britain from Ghana in 2000. V.5425

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10. Jun. 2024 City Press

SA`s population is getting older: `New report offers government blueprint for future planning`

Expert says the new report gives government an opportunity to plan ahead to meet the country’s needs. The South African population has grown by 1.1% in the past year to about 63.1 million. Of this number, 51.6 million are black Africans, followed by coloured people and the white population projected at about 5 175 608 and 4 607 554, respectively. People of Indian and Asian origin are estimated to be at 1.7 million. V.5426

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07. Jun. 2024 BusinessTech

South Africa scores massive own-goal

Woes within South Africa’s visa processes have left businesses and skilled workers in limbo, hurting investment and business activity as a result. Recently, French diplomats warned that South Africa’s strict visa requirements are driving investors away. In addition to this, Western Cape Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, said that a key obstacle attracting investment and expanding business is “the broken South African visa regime.” “To facilitate foreign investment, companies need to be able to easily access South Africa and those who apply for critical skills visas typically help to develop new and existing sectors, in line with international best practice or by helping to new industries through skills development,” said Wegner. Companies aiming to operate in the country must invest a minimum of R5 million and ensure at least 60% of their employees are South African. V.5419

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Articles

21. Jun. 2024 Business Tech

Big loss for Home Affairs in South Africa

The Department of Home Affairs has lost its legal battle over Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEPs). The Helen Suzman Foundation and the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) previously took the Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi to court over his termination of the ZEP under the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (PAJA). V.5436

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