Long delays at Home Affairs mean refugees are missing out on social grants

Legal Resources Centre says these delays are “incredibly worrying” By Bernard Chiguvare Refugees living in Limpopo say they have not been able to renew their status for a number of years at the Department of Home Affairs. As a result they cannot get social grants for their children. The Legal Resources Centre says people not being able to renew permits at...

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Police are preying on immigrants, say human rights organisations

Immigrants are not reporting crimes or seeking assistance from law enforcement as they fear extortion or deportation 2 December 2022 | By Kimberly Mutandiro Organisations working with immigrants say they have had numerous complaints of police extorting bribes and stealing from African immigrants. They say undocumented immigrants are too afraid to report such crimes; they are even too afraid to report any crime. ...

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Cape Town Refugee Reception Centre finally takes shape

After a court battle lasting ten years, the new centre is set to open next year By Tariro Washinyira The long-awaited Cape Town Refugee Reception Centre in Epping is finally taking shape, with builders hard at work on the site of the new building. The office is due to be opened early next year after court battles which have lasted ten...

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New court challenge to decision to scrap Zimbabwean permits

The Zimbabwean Immigration Federation seeks to defend the rights of Zimbabweans living in South Africa By Tania Broughton The Zimbabwean Immigration Federation is to challenge the decision by the South African government to scrap permits for Zimbabweans. The federation says the permit system was a solution that substantially reduced pressure on asylum management and curbed the ineffective deportation of Zimbabweans. It...

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Understanding the Zimbabwean permit case

Hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans living in South Africa may find themselves undocumented on 1 January 2023. The Helen Suzman Foundation is trying to stop this. By Tania Broughton The Helen Suzman Foundation is taking the Minister of Home Affairs to court to set aside government’s decision to terminate the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) at the end of the year. About...

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Shambolic Home Affairs leaves immigrants who are legally in the country undocumented

Since lockdown asylum seekers and refugees have been denied crucial services By Tariro Washinyira Refugees and asylum seekers are facing a myriad of problems because Home Affairs has not provided crucial in-person services for two years. Despite a blanket extension of permits various government departments and private sector facilities are not accepting valid documents, not even some Home Affairs officers. There...

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Protest against xenophobia goes ahead after court overturns ban

Marchers call for Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi to step down By Masego Mafata “We are frustrated and anxious. On the one side, the South African government has revoked the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP), on the other side there is this movement called Dudula. Our futures are really uncertain,” says Taurai Beans. Beans joined about 200 people marching from Pieter Roos...

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Vital Concourt judgment on warrantless searches

Case arises out of “degrading and invasive” raids on “poor and vulnerable” communities in downtown Johannesburg By Tania Broughton The Constitutional Court has struck down a section of the police act which allows for warrantless searches in cordoned off areas. The case arises after police conducted “cruel, degrading and invasive” raids on people living in 15 high-rise blocks in downtown Johannesburg. ...

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Judge to oversee plan to re-open Cape Town Refugee Reception Office

Court rules Home Affairs must provide monthly progress reports By Tariro Washinyira Western Cape High Court acting judge Alma de Wet has ordered the prompt re-opening of the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office, which has been closed since 2012. In an order handed down on Tuesday, Judge De Wet declared that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is in breach of a Supreme...

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Gay refugees denied asylum by Home Affairs bigotry – report

Organisations analysed letters denying LGBTI applicants refugee status By Tariro Washinyira A report released on Thursday by several civil society organisations has found evidence that LGBT refugees are being denied asylum in South Africa despite being “eligible for protection under international and domestic law”. The authors of the report surveyed denial letters for 67 asylum applicants who had applied for asylum on the basis of...

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