South Africa: Home Affairs On an Out-of-Context Tweet By an Official On Issues of Asylum

press release

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) would like to place it on record that a tweet by an official on the DHA tweeter account took a line from a presentation made by acting Director-General Thulani Mavuso out of context. Mr Mavuso's presentation was part of the African Journalists' Media Engagement Tour hosted by GCIS this morning. The tweet in question creates an impression that people seeking asylum do not have legitimate claims as they are able to freely go home.

What the acting Director-General put across to African journalists, in his presentation on asylum and refugee processing, is that a person may not be deemed to be a refugee if he/she re-avails himself/herself of the protection of his/her country of origin, including visiting his/her embassy. This means that a person, in this situation, cannot make a claim of a well-founded fear of being persecuted in keeping with the 1951 United Nations Convention.

"Bearing in mind our country's commitment to upholding international human rights, and fulfilling our international obligations, I'm always mindful of the plight of those seeking refuge beyond the borders of their countries", explained acting DG Mavuso. "We've instructed our officials to remove this tweet as it is a gross misrepresentation of what we said when explaining asylum and refugee processing in a presentation which was received with warm hands".

Issued by: Department of Home Affairs

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