1 August 2012

South Africa Upholds Court Ruling On New Asylum Applications

Photo: Mujahid Safodien/IRIN
A group migrants from Zimbabwe (file photo): The Chairperson of the SAHRC has approached the Department of Home Affairs to bring this matter to their attention.

The South African Department of Home Affairs has noted a Cape High Court Judgment compelling it to process new asylum-seeker applications within the Cape Town metropolitan area.

The department said it respected the judgment delivered by Justice Dennis Davis in the Cape High Court on the processing of new asylum-seeker applications.

The department added that it was waiting for the delivery of the written judgement from the court, which it hoped would be expedited.

"Upon receipt of the written judgment, the department will study it and consider an appropriate course of action. Until the written judgment is issued by the court, the status quo regarding the processing of new asylum-seeker applications remains," it said

It would be recalled that refugee rights organisations were on Monday outraged that the Department of Home Affairs continued to turn away scores of new refugee applicants in Cape Town despite a High Court ruling to the contrary.

Following the closure of the Refugee Reception Centre in Maitland at the end of the June, and the department's announcement that they would not be processing new refugee or asylum seeker applications at Customs House on the Foreshore, the Scalabrini Centre challenged the decision in the High Court.

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