News Articles

Family stateless for a year as Malusi Gigaba dawdles

Source: Times Live, 11/06/2018

A family of three has been stateless for a year as a result of the Home Affairs Department not finalising his South African citizenship. The father could not visit India when his mother got ill last year nor when she passed away in March this year because the permanent resident ID he has does not allow him to apply for a passport. They had renounced their Indian citizenship as part of their procedure to become naturalised South Africans. In 2016‚ Minister Malusi Gigaba imposed a new regulation that required immigrants to attend a naturalisation ceremony‚ similar to citizenship ceremonies held in the US‚ the United Kingdom and Australia. The latest ceremony was meant to take place in November 2017‚ but due to the various cabinet reshuffles it was cancelled at the last minute. There has not been a naturalisation ceremony since February 2017‚ meaning no one has been naturalised to South African citizenship in more than a year. The man‚ who asked not to be named for fears of reprisal‚ his wife and their son received a letter conditionally approving their applications to be South African citizens in May last year. In that letter‚ the department asked them to submit proof of renunciation of their Indian citizenship to finalise the issuing of citizen certificates. “On receipt of this document‚ you will be requested to sign the Declaration of Allegiance‚ whereafter your South African citizenship will be finalised‚” the letter from the department read. Since [May 2017] the only thing we heard from the department is ‘we are waiting for the minister to announce the date’. The family renounced their Indian citizenship the same month and they have been waiting for the issuing of their South African citizen certificates ever since. This means that the man has not been able to travel outside South Africa since. He has a permanent residency ID and as such is unable to apply for a passport. “Since [May 2017] the only thing we heard from the department is ‘we are waiting for the minister to announce the date’. In November we got a phone call that the induction would be on November 14 and November 22 would be the date of the ceremony. We attended the induction but unfortunately they cancelled the ceremony‚” the man said. He said in November‚ his mother’s health deteriorated - he could not visit India. He tried calling a number of officials but the answer he received was that they were waiting for the minister to announce the date. “I even went to the Indian embassy for assistance‚ and they told me I was no longer their citizen. Very sadly my mother passed away on March 1.” He said he was still waiting for a miracle that Gigaba would announce a date. “My son now needs to travel for sports. He has been selected for a hockey tournament representing his school in Singapore and Malaysia at the end of the year‚ but I am not sure whether he will make it. “It is difficult to explain to him why he [may not be able to] go‚” the man said. Home Affairs spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete could not be reached for comment.


Search

  •    THE media and the public will now be allowed to attend asylum seekers` appeals when conducted following the adoption of the Refugee Amendment Bill.... Read more...
  •    After battling for more a year and going to court twice, Wendy Kessman and Nomfundo Ngidi, a lesbian couple, have finally been granted a visa ` but it is the wrong one.... Read more...
  •    Port Elizabeth office not receiving new applicants, two years after deadline set by court More than two years after a deadline set by the courts, the Port Elizabeth Refugee Reception Office is still not fully operational, MPs were told last week.... Read more...
  •    The Department of Home Affairs` deputy director general of immigration services has denied any knowledge of corruption relating to the issuing of the Gupta dynasty`s visas to stay in South Africa, as alleged in the GuptaLeaks emails. `I did not know anything, except of course what I have read in the leaked emails,` Jackson McKay said about the thousands of pages of emails between various members of the Gupta business empire. Their companies included Sahara Computers, the now closed ANN7 television channel and The New Age newspaper.... Read more...
  •    The easing of the stringent water restrictions will restore international confidence in Cape Town as a destination for tourism and investment, say business leaders.... Read more...
  •    Some Zimbabweans who applied last year are still waiting as September deadline looms for ZEP permits Morgan (surname withheld) applied on 7 December 2017 for a Zimbabwe Exemption Permit. She has been tracking her application online. “Up to now nothing new, almost nine months after submission,” she said.... Read more...
  •    President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday asked the Jewish community to join hands with the government in taking the country forward, assuring those who owned land that a solution addressing land reform would be found.... Read more...
  •    After a number of calls from fathers explaining the difficulties they`ve faced registering their child`s birth without the mothers present, Bongani Bingwa invited Home Affairs to respond. Acting Director-General of Home Affairs Thulani Mavuso says there are two categories when one registers a birth. Children born in wedlock and children born out of wedlock. In South Africa, children that are born out of wedlock are registered under the mother`s surname.... Read more...
  •    Rule changes for travelling minors to SA planned ahead of busy December holiday season and waivers will soon be announced - including changes to requirements for travelling minors in SA - to be officially gazetted in October. Cabinet received a joint report from the Ministers of Home Affairs and Tourism - Malusi Gigaba and Derek Hanekom - which laid out many visa-related reforms that will make it easier for tourists, business people and academia to visit South Africa.... Read more...
  •    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...

Get the latest Immigration News