News Articles

Open letter to South African home affairs minister

Source: CAGE Africa, 18/11/2016

Dear Honorable Minister Malusi Gigaba, We note with concern your pronouncements reported by Reuters news agency on Friday, 11 November stating that there are militant "sleeper" cells in South Africa. We note that you have not provided any proof to justify your statements, and have alluded to increased securitisation and surveillance of Muslim communities as a result.

We also note the positive relationship that has existed so far between Muslim communities and the South African government and security services. We are concerned that this relationship be maintained.

However, as an organisation dedicated to campaigning for the rights of communities impacted by the War on Terror, we have found that such statements and the consequent securitisation of communities have a detrimental effect, not only on national unity by fostering an unfounded fear and hatred of Islam but also on Muslims themselves, especially the youth.

We have found through our work that Muslims, especially young Muslims, who feel increasingly under the eye of the security services, are more likely to self censor themselves on issues such as Palestinian activism and the current horrific situation in Syria.

Left with no legitimate space to vent their feelings, they can resort to searching for other alternatives, which can be dangerous. In short, securitization and surveillance of communities, is divisive, as is the banning or criminalisation of organisations. It leads to alienation and anger, which leads to a greater propensity for violence. This trajectory is surely familiar to you given the history of the ANC in South Africa.

Moreover, on the global stage, vague definitions of "terrorism" also mean that legitimate dissent from the mainstream is criminalised.

What is and isn`t terrorism is subjective and open to manipulation, especially by foreign powers. This is surely a familiar state of affairs to you as well.

You mentioned that you did not want South Africa being dragged into other people`s battles. Adopting the current US approach, which casts Muslims as a threat, is surely doing just this.

It is important for our sovereignty and the independence of the constitution, that the government resists any pressure from outside the country, to play ball in the US led global campaign, that is the `War on Terror`.

Finally, we invite you to visit a mosque or talk to respected Muslim groups, in order to build and further a constructive dialogue with the community of Islam. Yours sincerely, CAGE Africa


Search

  •    Cape Town - A Western Cape Cape High Court judge is facing a legal conundrum after three illegal immigrants arrested during a national clampdown Operation Fiela turned to the courts to test the lawfulness of their detention... Read more...
  •    FLAWS: ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize says elitist business models and a sluggish economy are limiting jobs.... Read more...
  •    This despite the fact that it will now become very expensive to process the arrests of undocumented migrants. Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) has welcomed a unanimous Constitutional Court ruling upholding the rights of all detainees " also alleged illegal immigrants " to access our courts.... Read more...
  •    Immigrant pupils in the city fear expulsion after they were asked to submit either a South African identity document, a valid passport or study permit to their schools.... Read more...
  •    Government brought brief relief to Angolan former refugees when it granted a blanket exemption to those who qualified but would not provide reasons why it was limited to a period of four years.... Read more...
  •    Cabinet has approved the reopening of the application process for the current Zimbabwean Special Permit holders, under certain conditions. The initial Special Dispensation for Zimbabweans was approved in April 2009 to document Zimbabwean nationals who were in South Africa illegally.... Read more...
  •    German arrivals continue to grow, even during SA’s winter months. German visitors to South Africa have increased by 15% according to the latest report released by Statistics SA. The German market has shown a steady increase over the last few months, with arrivals up by 24% for the month of June compared with June last year. Growth in May was 5% and April 15.91%.... Read more...
  •    Overstaying ones visa is a common occurrence among expats in South Africa and in recent months overstaying one visa has moved from being a minor inconvenience to a possible criminal offence with potentially serious ramifications. The changes brought about by the new immigration laws have made overstaying ones visa a very serious affair which needs a careful and smart approach to remedy. In this article we will explore the effect of overstaying ones visa and what steps to take to correct this now serious matter.... Read more...
  •    Cape Town " National Treasury believes that the 183 day threshold for South Africans working outside the country should remain in the proposed amendments to the tax laws. National Treasury is in the process of repealing tax exemption laws on income earned by South Africans working overseas through two bills, the 2017 Taxation Laws Amendment Bill and the 2017 Draft Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill. If planned new legislation goes through Parliament, South Africans who work overseas could be taxed locally for foreign earnings from March 1 2020.... Read more...
  •    Zimbabweans staying in South Africa have commended the host government for introducing a new four-year permit known as the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP) for those wishing to study or work in that country. The ZEP is valid between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2021, and replaces the Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP) whose lifespan expires on December 31 this year. According to South Africa’s Home Affairs Department, the ZEP facility is only available to 197 941 holders of the ZSP permit. In separate interviews yesterday, Zimbabweans said the new development brought about an end to months of speculation on reports that the country was introducing tough measures for immigrants. “This is a relief to the thousands of Zimbabweans who have endured several months of speculation on their status at the expiry of the ZSP,” said Mr Giyani Dube a representative of Zimbabweans staying in South Africa.... Read more...

Get the latest Immigration News