Immigration visa row in Vietnam
Source: Mail & Guardian, 11/10/2019
After interviews, Machimana declined the application. In a letter,
the Ambassador of South Africa in Vietnam ‚Ä` Mpetjane Kgaogelo
Lekgoro ‚Ä` stated that he agreed with Machimana‚Äôs decision. But he
also said that her decision had been overruled.
‚ÄúHowever, in view of the instructions received from the department
of home affairs, I requested and instructed Ms Machimana to issue
While I agreed that her decision was correct, a mandated authority
had now issued an instruction,‚ÄĚ reads the letter.
Based on numerous emails leaked to the Mail & Guardian, it seems
that after Machimana made her decision ‚Ä` but before communicating
it in writing to the department of home affairs ‚Ä` she was asked to
rescind it. In the emails, she is asked why she has not executed
the outcome of an appeal conducted by the department of home
On August 23, a regional co-ordinator for the department of home
affairs, Veronica Loving, wrote to Machimana, asking why an appeal
outcome conducted by the department had not been executed for the
American International School.
Machimana responded, stating that she had been threatened by Sihle
Dumakude, an official of the school, who called her on August 20
and ‚Äúinformed me that he will report me to Home Affairs officials
he knows so that the appeal process can be set aside and the
application can be processed‚ÄĚ. She also pointed out that the
applicant was not a Vietnamese national and did not have a long-
term visa to be in Vietnam, so could not apply in that country to
go to South Africa.
In another letter, to the ambassador in Vietnam, Machimana said
the Filipino national was applying for a visitor‚Äôs visa, while her
intention was to work in South Africa.
When the M&G sent questions to the school about the alleged
threat, which were also sent to Dumakude, it said: ‚ÄúWe are
confident that our visa applications made to secure new teacher
employment are compliant with the laws and regulations stipulated
by home affairs and relevant visa authorities.‚ÄĚ
It added that: ‚ÄúSchool employees may at times, if required, liaise
on the phone with representatives within this process for
clarification and follow-up purposes, which is standard practice.‚ÄĚ
When contacted, Machimana refused to comment ‚Ä` stating that she
will await the decision of her department.
But it seems she has no department to answer to.
When Clayson Monyela, the spokesperson for the department of
international relations and co-operation, and David j,
spokesperson for the department of home affairs, were contacted,
both said Machimana was not their employee.
Meanwhile, in a letter written by ambassador Lekgoro and dated
August 29, he states that he met with Machimana, who is charged
with migration matters at the embassy, to clarify and confirm the
situation around the issuing of a visa to the Filipino national.
‚ÄúMachimana explained that she had received a visa application ‚Ä¶
and based on the relevant rules and requirements refused the
application,‚ÄĚ Lekgoro wrote.
‚ÄúMachimana was contacted by an immigration agent in South Africa.
The agent indicated that he would take up the matter with the
responsible director in the department of home affairs. Based on
the rules and requirements I considered her decision to have been
Hlabane, the spokesperson for home affairs, said the department
could not answer questions about Machimana as she is not an
employee of the department. These questions were also sent to
Loving, who did not respond.
‚ÄúHome affairs will investigate allegations against its official
[Loving] in foreign office co-ordination, and any evidence in this
regard will assist our internal investigation,‚ÄĚ Hlabane said.
Neither department would provide answers as to what processes must
be followed for a foreign national to be granted a visa to work in