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.
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.
..AT LAST THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT CONDEMNS THE SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE BRUTALITY AGAINST A NIGERIAN MAN
THE Federal Government has demanded appropriate administrative and legal action from the South African government against two of its officers from the Police Service in Cape-Town over an assault on one Nigerian, Mr Clement Emekeneh.
The two officers were, last Friday reported by a local television (ETV) in the country, to have beaten an unidentified individual who was later confirmed to be a Nigerian.
In his reaction, the Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador S.S. Yusuf, in a statement yesterday said the action which has caused public outrage, has “further highlighted the lawlessness of the South African Police Service, which has become notorious for extra-judicial actions.”
The envoy noted that though the South African Police Service immediately issued a public statement condemning the action of its members while the Independent Police Investigation Department (IPID) also arrested the two officers captured in the television report and were placed on suspension, Yusuf assured that the mission would not relent on its effort to see that justice is done.
“In addition, the High Commissioner, through the effort of the Nigerian Community Leader in Cape Town, was able to speak with the victim, Mr. Clement Emekeneh, to sympathise with him, assuring him of the mission’s support and the necessary steps taken to protest to the host authorities to ensure that justice is done,” he said.
According to the statement, the two officer were charged to court on Monday, March 11, 2014, while the accused officers were granted bail in the sum of Rand 1, 500 each while the case was adjourned till May 9, 2014.
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.”.