SOUTH AFRICA: NEW IMMIGRATION LAWS TEARS FAMILIES APART.
Cape Town – A Cape Town family has been torn apart by home affairs’ new immigration regulations that came into effect on 26 May.
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.
SOUTH AFRICA: PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA STARTS SECOND TERM.
PRETORIA — South African President Jacob Zuma was sworn in for a second five-year term Saturday at a pomp-filled event attended by thousands from across the country, with dozens of foreign dignitaries from around the African continent also on hand.
But on the streets, South Africans expressed mixed opinions about five more years in office for a leader who has been embroiled in corruption scandals since first taking office.
Zuma took his second oath of office during a spectacular and colorful ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, as dozens of sitting heads of state, over 100 ambassadors and thousands of South Africans observed.
A supporter of the ruling African National Congress party checks her accreditation for the inauguration in Pretoria, South Africa, May 24, 2014.A supporter of the ruling African National Congress party checks her accreditation for the inauguration in Pretoria, South Africa, May 24, 2014.
The president began his second term after his ruling African National Congress party’s decisive 62 percent win in national elections May 7.
The official ceremony began with Zuma taking the oath of office in front of the country’s chief justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng. He vowed to “be faithful to the republic of South Africa, so help me God.”
The military paid tribute with a 21-gun salute and a series of aircraft flyovers, demonstrating its readiness to protect the president and the nation at large.
In his inauguration speech, Zuma said his second term would “involve the implementation of radical social-economic transformation.”
JUST IN: NIGERIA IN A FRESH WORD WAR WITH ZIMBABWE AND SOUTH AFRICA.
ABUJA— Barely a month after President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe made derogatory remarks about Nigeria and its citizens, the Federal Government, yesterday, reacted, describing Mugabe’s statement as “unstatesmanlike and dishonourable.”
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martin Uhoimoibhi, made the condemnation while addressing a two man delegation from Zimbabwe.
Mugabe had, during his recent 90th birthday luncheon hosted by the Service Chiefs and the Public Commission, described Nigeria and its citizens as corrupt.
Mugabe, while addressing the delegates at the occasion, said Zimbabweans were now almost behaving like Nigerians who, according to him, have to be corruptly paid for every service.
Reacting to President Mugabe’s derogatory remarks, the Permanent Secretary said the Federal Government was deeply concerned that a sitting President whose country Nigeria had assisted immensely during its liberation struggle and had enjoyed cordial relations with, could take “considerable time to vituperate about Nigeria, reflecting what we considered to be a strong aversion for our country.”
Uhoimoibhi said it was disheartening that not only did the utterance not reflect the reality in the country but that it came from a sitting president of a brotherly country.
He said: “We considered the remarks denigrating and unstateman like on Nigeria and Nigerians in general. We want to present the strongest protest on that statement. We thought it was most unkind and very dishonourable.
“So we take the strongest exception to it and we protest it for its partial inaccuracy, and also for the unfriendly attitude that it conveyed from the President towards Nigeria and Nigerians.
‘We ‘re proud Africans’
“Nigerians are Afrocentric people. We are very proud of the role we have played throughout our history to uphold the dignitary of the black race and the black man wherever he exists.
“We are immensely proud of our history in the liberation struggle. Nigeria, even though it was geographically different, distant from Southern Africa, was regarded as a frontline state.
“This was not a struggle that we fought half heartedly. We fought that struggle with all our heart, with our mind and every Nigerian citizen paid the prize for that struggle.
“Your pain was our pain; your struggle was our struggle. We believe your freedom is our freedom. But for the number one citizen of that country to regard Nigeria in a term in which the statement of the president was reported to have represented Nigeria with what was most unkind, hostile and unfriendly, we hope that this does not reflect a long-standing aversion for Nigerians.”
The permanent secretary, who gave the assurance that Nigeria would not change its Afrocentric policy, stressed that the country would continue to work for the good of all mankind and indeed the black race.
He said: “We have the utmost respect for Zimbabweans. You are welcome to our country but we are not happy and we are most unhappy indeed at this utterance.”
Slams South Africa
Ambassador Uhoimoibhi, who also reacted to the racist attack on Nigerians by South Africans, called on the South African government to checkmate such act.
He also enjoined South Africa to ensure that in line with “all appropriate actions consistent with commitment of South African government to international standard of behaviour and the cordial relations that exist between our two countries, those matters are dealt with in appropriate way.
“We condemn in the strongest terms any act of racism, xenophobia and discrimination perpetrated by whomsoever, and we are appalled that this incident occurred from a country we hold in a high esteem and which is a brother country to Nigeria.”
Receiving the memoir and the note from Uhoimoibhi for onward delivery to the Zimbabwean government, the Head of Chancery, Mr. Kunjeku, promised to deliver the message.
In a related development, there has been unconfirmed rumors of attacks on Nigerians living in Johannesburg, South Africa early this week.
Nigerians have always been the target of every xenophobic attack in Southern Africa despite the roles they played during the struggle for the freedom of this region.
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Breaking News: Asylum seeker killed at South African Home Affairs
The South African Home Affairs Department, Asylum office in Marabastad, Pretoria was thrown into chaos today as a Somalian Asylum seeker was mobbed to death by a security officer attached to the office.
Every Thursday as early as 1am, hundreds of immigrants gather at this home affairs to seek for asylum and most of them get beaten or whipped by the alleged xenophobic officers.
Commenting on today’s incident, a Nigerian asylum seeker who spoke anonymously said he “wish this will tell the world what foreigners go through at Marabastad, Pretoria.”.
Rabbit hidden in Nelson Mandela’s ear by white sculptor’s
A rabbit has been hidden in right ear of the newly erected Nelson Mandela statue at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa. The sculptors of the nine metre bronze-plated statue, Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren, secretly added the rabbit to the work.
The duo have said the rabbit was a “small trademark” of their work after the department of arts and culture did not allow them to engrave their signatures on bottom of the trouser leg of the statue. They said it also represented the tight deadline they were working under as rabbit in Afrikaans “haas” also means haste.
Recall that the struggle against the apartheid was fought against the Afrikaans in power. Africa Thisday is just wondering if this is not the Afrikaner’s way of making Mandela’s struggle a joke after the legend’s death.
Reports say that they have tendered an apology for their expensive joke.