News Articles

Unmarried dads should be allowed to register children`s births, court rules

Source: Groundup, 01/01/1970

The matter was initially raised by the Legal Resources Centre
(LRC), with the support of the Centre for Child Law, in a `public
interest` application against the minister and director general of
Home Affairs.
They were acting on behalf of a South African National Defence
Force (SANDF) soldier who met, and fell in love with, a Congolese
woman while posted on a peacekeeping mission in her country. They
married according to customary law in the DRC.
She, along with their two children, came to South Africa on a
visitor`s permit in 2015, where she gave birth to their third
child.
Refused to register birth
Despite the fact that the child was born in South Africa and the
father was South African, Home Affairs refused to register the
birth because the mother was `undocumented`.
In the High Court in 2018, acting judge Apla Bodlani declined to
declare the sections of the act unconstitutional. Instead, he
ordered amendments to the wording of some of the regulations.
The LRC was happy with Bodlani`s ruling. In a statement at the
time, it said it was a victory for single fathers trying to
register births when the mother is foreign and undocumented or
absent or had abandoned the children.
But the Centre for Child Law was intent on overturning Section 10,
which does not make provision for a child to receive their
father`s surname or details of their father on their birth
certificate without the mother`s involvement.
Home Affairs did not oppose the appeal.
Judge Sunil Rugunanan, who penned the appeal judgment, said the
case affected vulnerable members of society and `a multitude of
child cases` born to unmarried fathers.
He said children without birth certificates were `invisible` and
were effectively denied support and assistance necessary for their
positive growth and development, including education and access to
social grants.
`The numerous cases in the (centre`s) papers evoke empathy if one
comprehends the extent to which lack of birth registration
exacerbates marginalisation,` said the judge.
`Discriminatory`
Section 10 posed a bar that was discriminatory not only to the
fathers of children born out of wedlock, but to the children
themselves on the grounds that were arbitrary.
`A law that engenders discrimination with the potential for
consequences of the enormity shown, cannot be said to be in the
best interests of the child, which is paramount.`
He said the `reading in`, as ordered by Bodlani, had only a
limited effect and did not address the fundamental problem that
Section 10 in its entirety did not provide a mechanism for a child
born out of wedlock to be registered in the surname of his or her
father where the mother was absent.
He declared the section unconstitutional, giving the legislature
two years to amend it to ensure it is `constitutionally compliant`
and referred the order to the Constitutional Court for
confirmation.
The centre said: `The judgment affirms the fact that every child
has the constitutionally enshrined right to a name and nationality
from birth and their best interests are of paramount importance in
every matter concerning the child.`
www.samigration.com


Search

  •    Testing... Read more...
  •    Amid speculations surrounding offshore visa processing, the Department of Home Affairs has clarified that visa applications continue to be processed during the coronavirus pandemic, but decision delays cannot be ruled out.... Read more...
  •    Cape Town - Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has revealed that his department has found an increase of more than 300 foreigners trying to enter the country during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown amid the questions in the Beitbridge border post fencing.... Read more...
  •    Mango Airlines will resume flights on Monday, June 15, between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Travellers must present a travel permit and letter from their employer authorising business travel. This will be checked at the entrance to airports and again at check-in and boarding, says CEO, Nico Bezuidenhout. “Important enough to say it twice: if a traveller does not have a relevant permit for essential or business travel with the appropriate sign-off, the traveller will not be granted access to the airport and may subsequently forfeit the purchased ticket.”... Read more...
  •    The Covid-19 death toll has hit 848, after 56 more people died - 54 of whom were from the epicentre Western Cape. The number of cases rose by 3 267 to 40 792. The number of recoveries is 21 311. The government is set to appeal a court judgment handed down this week which declared the lockdown regulations for Levels 3 and 4 unconstitutional. This came as the government also announced that a state of disaster will be extended until 15 July. Here is what the courts found in the ruling.... Read more...
  •    Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (GCIS) • High Court Judge Norman Davis has given Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma 14 days to amend lockdown regulations, however, the national state of disaster is set to lapse before that deadline. • Davis has slammed some of the regulations, saying there are millions of South Africans who operate in the informal sector, who have lost their livelihoods. • Davis says in the case of hairdressers, a single mother and sole provider for her family is stripped of her rights of dignity, equality, to earn a living and to provide for the best interest of her children.... Read more...
  •    Pleas for DIRCO to help South Africans stranded abroad, or stuck in SA with jobs abroad, have increased as many run out of money, medicine and hope. The DA today issued a call for Dirco to liaise better with embassies in helping get citizens home; and AfriForum this morning issued urgent court papers in an effort to find solutions to the many problems facing South African citizens needing repatriation, including the fact that they are still required to spend a minimum of 14 days in quarantine in a state facility, while most have the ability and would prefer to isolate themselves.... Read more...
  •    Mango Airlines will resume flights on Monday, June 15, between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Travellers must present a travel permit and letter from their employer authorising business travel. This will be checked at the entrance to airports and again at check-in and boarding, says CEO, Nico Bezuidenhout. “Important enough to say it twice: if a traveller does not have a relevant permit for essential or business travel with the appropriate sign-off, the traveller will not be granted access to the airport and may subsequently forfeit the purchased ticket.”... Read more...
  •    Pleas for DIRCO to help South Africans stranded abroad, or stuck in SA with jobs abroad, have increased as many run out of money, medicine and hope. The DA today issued a call for Dirco to liaise better with embassies in helping get citizens home; and AfriForum this morning issued urgent court papers in an effort to find solutions to the many problems facing South African citizens needing repatriation, including the fact that they are still required to spend a minimum of 14 days in quarantine in a state facility, while most have the ability and would prefer to isolate themselves.... Read more...
  •    First National Bank has been accused of freezing the accounts of asylum seekers whose permits have expired during lockdown. Refugees can`t renew permits because offices are closed A Zimbabwean asylum seeker says First National Bank (FNB) froze his account when his asylum papers expired during lockdown in spite of explanations from the Department of Home Affairs that refugee offices are closed. According to People Against Suffering and Oppression (PASSOP), his is one of at least ten accounts which have been frozen in the same way.... Read more...

Get the latest Immigration News