R700 000 for couple barred from re-entering SA
Source: Pretoria News, 17/11/2016
Pretoria - South African couple Mukhrar and Tasleem Ahmed went on a
pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, but when they wanted to return, they were
barred from entering South Africa.
The couple were held in Dubai after authorities indicated their names
appeared on the V list (undesirable persons) of Home Affairs.
They had to settle in Pakistan for six months, separated from family
and their children who had remained at home in Durban with their
The couple initially claimed R3.6 million in the Gauteng High Court,
Pretoria, for the trauma they said they and their children suffered.
The court ordered Home Affairs to pay R700 000 in damages to the
couple and R50 000 to each of their two children, aged 2 and 7 in
The parents, both Pakistani, were married in terms of Islamic law.
However, Ahmed acquired South African citizenship while his
wife received asylum when she first entered the country.
The couple left the country on August 5, 2012, for a two-week trip to
Saudi Arabia. On their return, they were informed at Dubai airport
that they could not enter South Africa.
Ahmed said after being refused permission to board the flight in
Dubai, they went to Pakistan, where they remained for six months.
The separation from his children caused him sleepless nights and when
they were eventually reunited, the children were terrified that they
would be separated again.
He said he had no idea why his name was on the V list. But in February
2013, Ahmed successfully launched an urgent application that their
names be removed from the list and they be allowed to return home.
But Home Affairs only removed his name from the unwanted person`s list
Sam Langa, an immigration officer, testified that during 2008 he
investigated cases of foreign nationals being in the country
While in KwaZulu-Natal on patrol, he stopped a vehicle occupied by a
man and a woman. The man`s ID indicated he was a permanent resident
and married to a South African. The man happened to be Ahmed.
He questioned him about his status in the country and Ahmed told him
he was separated from his first wife, a South African, but now married
According to Langa, the man was in contravention of his permit
conditions which allowed him to be in South Africa, as he did not live
with his South African spouse.
Langa then interviewed the first wife, Natalie, and she told him she
and Ahmed had entered into a contract marriage to enable Ahmed to stay
in the country. He said Ahmed was declared an illegal immigrant and
due to be deported. However, he secured his release from Lindela
Repatriation Centre by launching an urgent application. Home Affairs
was interdicted from deporting him.
Langa told the court he was not aware why Ahmed`s name was placed on
the list in the fist place or why it remained there after a judge
ordered it to be removed.
Judge Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi found that the couple`s constitutional
rights were violated when Home Affairs did not adhere to a court order
to immediately remove their names from the list.