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South Africa’s latest ‘undesirable person’ takes court action

South Africa’s latest ‘undesirable person’ takes court action

South Africa’S Latest ‘Undesirable Person’ Takes Court Action


By Estelle Vosloo

After a two year wait for the approval of her spousal visa US citizen Shaima Herman have been declared an ‘undesirable person’ in South Africa.

Herman has now launched an urgent application to the Western Cape High Court reported The Times. The court application cites Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba and President Jacob Zuma as respondents.

During her two year wait Herman visited the Department of Home Affairs offices more than 14 times and her visa remains delayed.

In view of the new immigration laws instituted on 26 May 2014 Ms Herman is now in the country illegally and could face deportation and denied access to the country for up to five years.

Herman’s court application comes on the back of warnings by economists and industry bosses that the new visa regulations will deter international investment interest and drive away scarce skills. To this economist Chris Hart added his concern saying, “the new rules are everything we do not need.”

Moneyweb reported that immigration professionals are preparing for a legal battle of epic proportions supported by the fact that the new law has far reaching negative impact interfering with personal relationships.

As reported earlier this week and last week by New World Immigration the new laws have produced a variety of complications. This includes a German doctor wanting to settle in South Africa with her finance being declared an ‘undesirable person’ as in the case of Ms Herman while two orphaned boys could lose their adoptive parents due to delays at home affairs which could lead to the couple’s inadvertent overstay in the country.

The Forum of Immigration Practitioners of SA (FIPSA) has taken particular umbrage to a clause dealing with spousal visas, saying the government cannot impose on personal matters. 'That cannot be constitutional. The Constitutional Court says you cannot deprive someone the right to live (however they want).We don't want an environment of anarchy, we want a Constitution in line with the international law,' FIPSA chair Gershon Mosiane argues in the report.

Ms Herman’s court application barely hit media reports when it was followed by the distressing report of another happy family being torn apart by the new legislation.
The Johnson family from Newlands, Cape Town, were traumatized when after their return from a dream Namibian holiday Danish born Mrs Johnson, was barred from re-entering South Africa.

Louise Egedal Johnson was detained in a room at Cape Town International Airport for six hours on Sunday, and then forced to leave South Africa on a one-way ticket to Copenhagen with her and husband Bret Johnson’s 2-year-old son Samuel.
“My son has a South African birth certificate but he is only two and we couldn’t separate him from his mother,” said a distraught Johnson.

Johnson said officials would not allow him to get his wife the blood thinners she needed to take before a long-haul flight and described their experience as ”savage” and “brutal”, and is now planning to fight the matter in court.
Johnson said he and his wife had been married since 2009. In February she had applied to have her spousal visa renewed.

“Little did we know that in the intervening period the department would, by stealth, remove the directive that allows the receipt for this submission to be used as proof of compliance.”

The new regulations came into effect on May 26, but unaware of the new regulations, two days later the family left for a holiday in Namibia. Johnson said that when they left the country his wife was issued with an “undesirable notice” and fined R1 500.

He said the immigration official did not explain the consequence would be that his wife would not be allowed back into South Africa.

“We were told to go to the embassy in Windhoek and contest it if we had a problem.”

Johnson said the family went nowhere near Windhoek during the trip, but he did make several calls to the immigration office in Cape Town and the Department of Home Affairs in Pretoria.

“Eventually the Home Affairs customer care centre simply told me to talk to a senior immigration official when we got back.”

A senior official eventually told the family: “Well you didn’t have to leave – you should have been told.”

“She (the official) then decides my wife won’t be allowed back in, and additionally refuses my request to allow my wife to see her doctor on Monday to obtain critical blood thinning medicine she requires for long-haul travel.”

He had to buy one-way tickets for his wife and son to Copenhagen.

“The trauma must be second only to a loved one dying… seeing your family forced to leave through plated glass, your child crying and reaching out to you, your wife trying to stay strong but struggling,” continued Johnson.

Johnson said the family were being punished for the department’s “walloping ineptitude”.

“How can something that tears families apart be law?”

He said that while stuck at the Home Affairs office at the airport on Sunday he learnt that the officials would receive training on the new regulations only this week.

 

 

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