Pretoria – Nigerian Anthony Okey Nwafor, who was arrested in 2015 for allegedly posing as a medical doctor in Pretoria and Limpopo, is embroiled in another legal tussle.
This time, he has turned to court after Home Affairs took away his South African citizenship, claiming he was still married when he entered into another marriage with an 18-year-old South African woman.

Nwafor said in papers before the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, that he wanted his South African citizenship back.

He said his marriage to his former wife in Nigeria had been annulled by the court in his native country. Thus, he said, he was a free man when he married his South African wife.

But the department objected to this “marriage” and said it was not legal. According to Home Affairs, his second wife was under the age of 21 and her guardians were supposed to have signed a consent form before she could get married.

He pointed out that the signature of his second wife’s mother did appear on the form, but Home Affairs questioned its authenticity.

Nwafor was granted bail in 2015 after he was arrested on a charge of fraud. He had allegedly posed as a medical doctor while he did not have the qualifications. His legal team insisted he was qualified to practise as a doctor.

He was arrested after the Limpopo Department of Health, the SAPS anti-corruption unit and Home Affairs worked together for a long time to nab him.

He claimed he had worked for the Department of Health in Limpopo at the Mecklenburg hospital between 2003 and 2005. He also worked as a specialist physician in Pretoria for some time.

It is not clear what happened to this case, but he still referred to himself in the latest court papers as Dr Nwafor.

Home Affairs said he had obtained his permanent residence in South Africa through fraudulent means. It further claimed he was still married to Ebere Nwafor when he married Gladys Vilankulu in South Africa.

Nwafor said “shortly after the church blessing of the marriage between him and Ebere, a serious material issue occurred. This resulted in the immediate dissolution of the marriage.”

He said he had played open cards when he married Vilankulu shortly afterwards, and according to him, her mother gave them her blessing for the marriage.

Nwafor said everything was done according to the book and he could not understand how Home Affairs suddenly revoked his South African citizenship.

The court, however, said there were so many disputes of facts that the only way to resolve the issues was to hear oral evidence from the parties concerned.

No date has yet been set for the court to hear the evidence.

ZELDA VENTER / Pretoria News

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Nigerians in South Africa
Nigerians in South Africa 12335 posts

We are about democracy, human rights, public opinion, political behavior, civil rights and policy aimed at improving the human condition, with a focus on African countries.

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