News24 reported that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir cannot be arrested while in Sandton, the area hosting the African Union summit, as the area is still under the jurisdiction of the organisation, quoting the South African Institute of International Affairs.
“As we know, because the AU was holding a conference in Sandton, that area has been declared as belonging to AU which is standard,” spokesperson Hopewell Radebe said.
“So this means no SA police members can go there and arrest anyone for the duration of the conference.”
Radebe said if Al-Bashir was to be arrested it would either be once he had moved out of the Sandton area or after the summit had been declared over, depending whether he was still around by then.
The High Court in Pretoria will on Monday hear an application on whether South African authorities can arrest him.
On Sunday, Judge Hans Fabricius ordered that the Department of Home Affairs ensure that all points of entry and exit be informed that Al-Bashir was not allowed to leave until the SA Litigation Centre’s (SALC) application that South Africa arrest him, is concluded.
The SALC wants South Africa to enforce two warrants for Al-Bashir’s arrest issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2009 and 2010 relating to alleged war crimes and genocide.
Al-Bashir is in South Africa to attend the AU summit.
However. there have been conflicting reports about whether al-Bashir was still in South Africa or not.
Sudan’s Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman told Bloomberg on Sunday evening that al-Bashir had left South Africa and was on his way home.
“The president finished his business and is coming back home.
“Al-Bashir went to South Africa with complete guarantees that it will respect the African position regarding the ICC,” he reportedly said.
A Sudanese presidency official said Al-Bashir was still in Johannesburg on Monday morning and would leave later in the day.
Africa Thisday condemns any attempt to arrest any African leader attending the African Union Summit by the West as we consider it disrespectful from the west. No more shall the West waste Africa.
IOL reports that Brent Johnson, 41, his wife Louise Egedal Johnson and their 2-year-old son recently went on a trip to Namibia and when they returned were shocked to find that Danish-born Louise would not be allowed back into the country.
She was apparently called an ‘undesirable person’ by home affairs and detained for six hours in a room at Cape Town International Airport on their return from Namibia on Sunday.
They were eventually informed that she would be deported back to Denmark, forcing Brent to buy both her and their son, Samuel, one way tickets to Copenhagen.
“I am married to a Brazilian. According to the new rules, we have to go to Brazil every two years to apply for the renewal of her permit. If we don’t, my wife will be deported and our family will be split up. In the past the renewal could be done here. Do you think that is constitutional?” commented Emile Myburgh.
Sten Klasson said that he has been married to a South African woman for seven years and that they recently returned to Johannesburg after living and working overseas. He said that during their time overseas, his wife never had a problem getting work permits and citizenship.
“We have been here since June last year and still my permanent visa is still not in place. I have lived in Europe my entire life and seen how Russia was ruling the eastern block. This is where you South Africans are aiming,” he warned.
A social media commentator, Kosmonooit, also aired his frustration, saying: “Tell me about it! Already waiting 5 months for a visa for my wife and daughter, with no information forthcoming! And el-presidente signed this act into law his good self this last Friday, the consequences were put forward in the brief period give for public comment. 3rd World Abyss here we come.”
In a recent interview with News24 Live, immigration law expert Gary Eisenberg explained that the new regulations are, in essence, xenophobic.
“There is no longer any flexibility in the system. The South African government is out to punish foreigners and perhaps this is a sign of the kind of xenophobia that may be lurking somewhere in the wings,” he said.
He also explained the damaging effects these kinds of laws could have on foreign investment in South Africa.
“If, for example, a business visitor comes to South Africa and – for a particular reason – is one day late in applying for an extension, the permit expires a day ago, and that person leaves the country to go back home – and perhaps going back home to organize an investment into the country – that person is excluded for a year. They cannot come back to South Africa. They are declared undesirable people,” he said.
In a similar development, the Nigerian community in South Africa has condemned the new immigration regulations claiming they are the major target of the new laws. Mr. Stanley Ebele, a Nigerian living in South Africa spoke to Africa Thisday in Pretoria : “I am married to a South African lady and I love her so much but this law is a big threat to our marriage because I may soon be asked to back home leaving my beloved wife and child here.” He added that “these new immigration laws are xenophobic and targeted at Nigerians the most because of our increasing population in South Africa.”
While the country’s law administratively allows a person to go to court to vindicate their rights, the process is flawed and appeals are often delayed to frustrate the applicant.